Every hour in America, five women die from breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. No city has a higher death rate from breast cancer than the District and the same holds true for cervical cancer.
Studies, however, show that early detection can lead to successful treatment and survival. But some women simply don't have the money or the medical insurance to have a mammogram or a pap smear to determine if they are in the early, treatable stages of breast or cervical cancer.
In response, the Howard University Cancer Center will provide free breast screenings and pap smears for low income, uninsured women in the District or women whose health insurance does not cover mammograms or pap smears on Wed., June 24, and Fri., June 26.
Women can go to the Cancer Center at 2041 Georgia Ave., Northwest for a free clinical breast exam, screening mammogram and pap smear.
Dr. Wayne Frederick, director of the Cancer Center and chief of Howard University Hospital's Division of General Surgery, urges women from the District to take advantage of the free screening program.
"Women in the District of Columbia continue to have the highest mortality rate of breast cancer in the nation," Frederick said. "Early detection through screening with a clinical breast exam and mammogram will help change that trend."
Statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) indicate that while White women are more likely than Black women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, 131 per 100,000 White women compared to 118 per 100,000 Black women, African American women are more likely to die from the disease.
The rate at which African American women die from the disease annually is more than twice the rate for Asian and Hispanic women, according to NCI.
The Women's Imaging Center is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for screenings. The center is equipped with digital mammography donated by Fuji Health, thus providing the highest quality screening services. An appointment is mandatory, and patients will not be seen without one. Call 202-865-4655 for an appointment.