Minority women urged to get mammograms

Minority women urged to get mammograms

Credit: KING

Studies show that women of all racial minorities are less likely to get mammograms than Caucasian women.

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by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

TACOMA, Wash. - With paraffin hand dips and massages, it looks more like a spa than a mammogram screening event. That's the whole idea.

"We want it to be a social and fun afternoon for everyone," said Alexis Wilson, PhD, RN, Carol Milgard Breast Center /Exec Director.

Roeng is having her first ever mammogram, and agreed to be photographed to show other women it's not so bad, and that even a language barrier doesn't have to get in the way of getting a mammogram.

The recent screening event at the Carol Milgard Breast Center was targeted at medically-underserved women like Roeng, utilizing patient navigators who can speak the language and who understand the reluctance.

"For whatever reason they don't want to come in and have mammograms and they've reached out to them and said let's go, let's have our mammograms, let's protect ourselves, let's protect our daughters let's protect our granddaughters," said Wilson.

Dr. John Peixotto says one advantage of being a one- stop center that specializes only in breast health is that women who get called back for further testing can return to the same office, often with a next day appointment instead of having to wait.

"Once a woman finds out there's something wrong on their mammogram, life stands still and life seems like an eternity until you find the answer and our goal is to shorten the door to diagnosis time so they have less time to worry," said Peixotto.

But early detection is still key.

"If we can detect breast cancer early, we have a greater than 90 percent chance of curing it," said Peixotto.

It's not just minority women, mammogram screening in general is on the decline. That's the reason behind the local make-a-mammogram-promise campaign going on through the month of October.

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