The Loretto Hospital, in partnership with the University of Illinois Cancer Center, is offering free women’s cancer screenings throughout the month of May.
Services include 2D and 3D tomosynthesis mammograms and pap smears for uninsured or underinsured residents of Austin and surrounding communities.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among all women in the U.S. While incidence of breast cancer is comparable among Black and white women, Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from the disease than their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Deaths from cervical cancer, once one of the most fatal forms of cancer among women, have decreased dramatically as routine pap tests have become more readily available.
“Early detection saves lives,” said Deatra Howard, vice president and chief nursing officer at Loretto. We “are dedicated to ensuring every woman, regardless of race or insurance status, has access to potentially life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings.”
To qualify for a free mammogram, patients must be 40 or older with no issues or symptoms and not have had a mammogram within the last year.
To qualify for a pap smear, patients must be over 21 and not have had a pap smear in the past three years.
Eligible individuals must live in one of these ZIP codes: 60651, 60644, 60707, 60639 or 60635.
Loretto Hospital and University of Illinois Cancer Center will host a Facebook Live event 4 p.m. Thursday, May 13.
Community members are invited to attend the round table-style discussion, which will be moderated by Dr. Heather Bergdahl, Loretto’s vice president of transformation. Panelists will include Jeanette Santana González, project director at University of Illinois Cancer Center, and health navigator Theresa Mobley.