Oklahoma women with little or no insurance will have access to no-cost mobile mammograms through grants awarded to the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine from local chapters of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The combined nearly $140,000 in grant funding from Susan G. Komen Central and Western Oklahoma and Susan G. Komen Tulsa will allow OU Medicine to provide mammograms and diagnostic services to more than 275 women in Texas and Osage counties.
Grant funding from Susan G. Komen Central and Western Oklahoma will provide 140 free screenings in Guymon to uninsured or underinsured Hispanic and Latina women in Texas County. This marks the second year this Komen chapter has funded this project in an effort to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses that occur in Texas County.
Additionally, this year Susan G. Komen Tulsa provided funding for a new project offering 140 no-cost screenings in Pawhuska for uninsured or underinsured American Indian women in Osage County.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Oklahoma women, affecting one in eight women. Statistics from the Susan G. Komen Foundation show that Hispanic women have lower rates of breast cancer screenings and tend to be diagnosed in later stage breast cancer more than other non-Hispanic women. According to the same source, only 63 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women receive annual screenings and part of the reasoning is limited access to care.
“Significant breast cancer risk exists among Oklahoma’s Hispanic/Latina and American Indian women, and this risk is especially high for those who lack health insurance coverage,” said Mark Doescher, M.D., director of community outreach for the Stephenson Cancer Center. “The generous support provided by the local chapters of the Susan G. Komen Foundation will help many of these high-risk individuals receive timely breast cancer screening and follow-up services.”
Mobile screening is provided in a state-of-the-art mobile coach operated by OU Medicine’s Breast Health Network. The mobile unit is fully equipped with a comfortable waiting room and a private imaging suite.
“The Breast Health Network mobile program has traveled across the state of Oklahoma since 1989,”said Tracy Cothran, assistant vice president of oncology services and Breast Health Network at OU Medicine. We are so proud of the impact we have had on our state, providing convenient screening mammography to over 200,000 women. Working alongside the Stephenson Cancer Center and The Susan G. Komen Foundation allows us to continue offering screening services to those who may not otherwise have access to such important healthcare.”
Susan G. Komen of Central and Western Oklahoma and Susan G. Komen Tulsa are dedicated to combating breast cancer. According to the Komen foundation, nearly 75 percent of their net income is dedicated to funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs for medically underserved women across Oklahoma.