Tapestry 360 Health Hosts Workshop Bridging Women’s History Month and Cancer Awareness

Tapestry 360 Health hosted a workshop highlight the importance of cancer screenings for women (Photo: Annie Tarricone).

By Rashad Alexander

The month of March is Women’s History Month. However, it is also Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. One in 25 women is at risk of developing cancer, while women are most vulnerable to other cancers, such as breast, cervical, skin and more, according to the American Cancer Society. 

In honor of both observances, Tapestry 360 Health (previously known as Heartland Health Center) hosted a workshop for community members and patients to highlight the importance of cancer screenings. While all were welcome, the workshop was particularly targeted towards women, teaching attendees how to take preventative measures and notice the signs of cancer. 

The discussion occurred recently at Tapestry 360 Health at 1301 W. Devon Ave. Led by physician Daniela Anderson and Cancer Prevention Manager Annie Tarricone, the hour-long discussion allowed attendees to discuss their personal experiences with cancer while providing them knowledge of the different types of the disease and the tests needed to detect it.

Photo: Annie Tarricone

“We don’t want the reason for everyone to show up at an event around cancer is because someone close to them died. I feel like that’s the main piece that people need is learning why the test is helpful,” Tarricone said. “Being aware and educated of what some of those symptoms are is really important for people to advocate for themselves when they actually do see their provider.” 

The workshop provided healthy snacks to promote a healthier lifestyle for attendees. With help from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Tapestry 360 Health’s Accelerating Cancer Screening team is working to increase equitable access to cancer screening. According to the workshop’s discussions, one thing that often deters people from getting screenings is the cost. Tapestry 360 Health offers options for free mammograms and other affordable care.

With Women’s History Month in mind, Tarricone spoke about women’s conflicts within the healthcare system, including how sometimes their symptoms aren’t taken seriously. According to Duke Health, one in five women claimed that a healthcare provider has ignored or dismissed their symptoms.

“Women’s health is often not researched as much, and it’s not sometimes believed if you have serious menstrual pain. We’re kind of socialized and taught to just deal with the symptoms that we have, especially when it comes to things like your menstrual cycle,” she said. “We also want to train doctors to believe patients and really hear them and also take an equitable approach to health care.”

The education on women’s health and cancer awareness doesn’t just end in March. For more information on future Tapestry 360 Health events, you can visit their website and their Instagram @tap360health.

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