Earlier this year, Aurora Township hosted a breast cancer screening event Wellness on Wheels at the Aurora Township Youth Center, 313 Gale Street, Aurora, IL.

The state of breast cancer screening services for low-income African American women is at a cross roads but with key components in service delivery plans, it can result in more women being screened for breast cancer.  The incidence of breast cancer is lower in African American women compared to non-Hispanic Whites, yet the mortality rate is higher in African American when compare to non-Hispanic Whites. This type of disparity is one that can easily be decreased with the assistance of programs that implement health screenings and awareness events through community education that decrease barriers is fundamental in underrepresented populations.

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act where, in particular, low-income women, in large numbers are insured and now have access to breast cancer screening services.  The primary challenge is that low-income women often have less financial resources, more social stressors and challenges and are less likely to prioritize medical health and screening appointments. Addressing this challenge is a new priority for breast cancer prevention programs.

What has been proven effective is the development and implementation of targeted breast screening and outreach interventions that promote cultural appropriate activities and services and early detection services.  In addition, all outreach and education services targeting African American women is to have culturally competent navigation programs.   This is effective in reaching and serving recently diagnosed or women have not have not prioritized breast cancer screening.

All breast cancer screening, education and outreach programs should be culturally competent and innovative to embrace their local community needs or resources.  Culturally innovative projects should reach, serve and heighten awareness of the importance of breast cancer on a grassroots level.  Organization based breast cancer screening, education and outreach projects should integrate screening and education services into their existing services.

It is also recommended that local community women are trained to be breast cancer educators and navigators and to promote breast cancer prevention resources and education among their social networks.  To learn more information about breast cancer screening, education and outreach services, please contact LathanHarris, Inc. at 217.553.3148.