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Washington D.C. has highest death rate from breast cancer - Black Women More Likely to Die



Office of University Communications

For Immediate Release

Ron Harris
Director of Communications
Howard University

Howard University Cancer Center Offers Free Mammograms and Pap Smears

WASHINGTON -- Every hour in America, five women die from breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.  And no city has a higher death rate from breast cancer than Washington.  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 paper smears for low income, uninsured Washington women or District women whose health insurance does not cover mammograms or pap smears Wednesday, June 24, and Friday, June 26. 

An appointment is mandatory, and patients will not be seen without one. Call 202.865.4655 for an appointment.
Women should report to the Cancer Center at 2041 Georgia Ave., N.W from 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 of Columbia 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 section is equipped with digital mammography donated by Fuji Health, thus providing the highest quality screening services. For appointments, call 202.865.3610.


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