Black Health Exams Matter

WELLS GOODFELLOW – As Breast Cancer Awareness activities wind down this month, health experts warn African-American women to continue to be diligent with self-exams and testing.

A 2018 report in the Journal of the American College of Radiology showed that although black women and white women get cancer at about the same rate, African-American women are 20 to 40 percent more likely to die from the disease.

This has prompted the medical community to categorize African-American women as “high risk” for breast cancer.

“The reason for this disparity is likely due to several factors, including genetics, the biology of the cancer and differences in healthcare,” the report states.

Care STL Health, formerly known as the Myrtle Hillard Davis Health Centers, is looking to equalize some of those disparities by providing free mammograms to women in north St. Louis.

“We offer free breast and cervical cancer screenings at our women’s health care providers,” said Shawnda Glass, Breast Health Navigator for the health center. “How we can offer them is through a grant program called Show Me Healthy Women.”

Show Me Healthy Women is a state-funded program for women ages 35-64 who do not have health insurance and earn below 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($24,280 for a household of one).

Glass said the program provides free transportation and, should you need it, covers the costs for treatment of breast or cervical cancer.

While the health center holds a Mammogram Day in October, Glass said community members can call to make an appointment for free the free health services at any time.

“We offer mammograms every day,” she said, “not just in October.”

Care STL Health clinics are located at: 4500 Pope, 5471 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., 2425 N. Whittier St., and 5541 Riverview Blvd.

Contact Care STL Health at 314-367-5820 ext. 2270 to register and make an appointment.

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