Raising Awareness in At-Risk Communities

5:56 PM, Oct 27, 2011   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- You've no doubt seen a lot of pink this month for breast cancer awareness.  And although the message is getting out there, it turns out there is still a lot of work to be done.

Statistics show certain segments of our population simply need to know more about breast cancer and the resources available to them.  On a national level, mammography screening rates for breast cancer are down.  One way to fix this, is through education and outreach.

As far as where that outreach needs to be focused here, a recent report from the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation found more needs to be done when it comes to outreach with African American women in the City of Buffalo.  It also found awareness about breast cancer detection and treatment needs to be focused on all women in Cattaraugus County.

"Rural Women have a unique problem, and that's transportation.  So transportation was a major issue that really needs to be addressed for women to get to screening.  It also is a problem in the city for women that don't want to leave their neighborhoods or have to take three buses to get to screening," said Jackie Mordaunt with Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

One way to get the word out is to target church groups.  Prince of Peace Temple Church of God in Christ on Kensington Avenue is one place in Buffalo that has lead the way when it comes to reaching out.  It's all done through the Witness Project, a national organization that educates African-American women about breast cancer.

"We had women who came in that had breast cancer.  And they were willing to talk about it, ya know, without being embarrassed about it. Assuring the women that it was nothing to be afraid of," said Narseary Harris, wife of the pastor at Prince of Peace.

Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute also does a lot of outreach-- working with the Komen Foundation and other groups to raise awareness about breast cancer.

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