COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There is a big push to get women screened for breast cancer and for them to know their status.
Health officials say African-American women have the highest mortality rate because of lack of screenings.
“I was a little nervous to begin with but to open it and see that everything is okay…(that was) the wisest decision I could make,” said Rebecca Price Carroll.
Price Carroll has a history of breast cancer in her family.
“My mother had breast cancer. she has been a survivor for 14 years now,” said Price Carroll.
Her older sister also had breast cancer.
“Pretending that it could not exist or doesn’t exist does not help anything but knowing that I did the right thing and I’m okay gives me piece of mind,” said Price Carroll.
That piece of mind came from the Wayfinder Mobile Mammography Unit, which takes high-tech screenings to communities throughout Ohio.
“For African-American women there has been a health disparity for many years,” said Chasity Washington, Director of the Center of Health Equity, at The Ohio State James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Insisitute.
Washington has been working for years efforting research and breast cancer screenings for women of color.
“For Franklin county, the death rate for African-American women is 40 percent higher than other women,” said Washington.
According to the Komen Columbus branch, African-American women in North Linden, Southeast Columbus and Whitehall have the highest diagnostic rate and seek treatment the least.
The Wayfinder project partners with churches and food pantries in minority communities, as well as underserved communities to get women the screenings they need.
“If women come in and get their screenings like they are suppose to really there is no reason for the number of women to lose with life from this disease that do,” said Washington.
Washington says although Ohio State is helping African- American women get screened for breast cancer more often, many are not following up with a doctor and getting the help they need.
The Komen Foundation can connect women to the resources they need to get treatment. For more information, visit komencolumbus.org