Solis Mammography will join Dallas’ LGBT community as a sponsor of the 33rd annual Heineken Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade to support, educate and empower Dallas’ LGBT-identified women to make informed decisions regarding breast health. The parade takes place Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. According to the American Cancer Society, of the 230,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2015, members of the LGBT community of women are at higher risk for breast cancer than heterosexual women. This is drawn from research that shows that women who haven’t had children, haven’t breast-fed, haven’t used oral contraceptives or are older when they first give birth are at a higher risk for breast cancer.
“No woman really wants to get a mammogram; what women want is to know that they are healthy and all clear for another year,” says James Polfreman, president and CEO of Solis Mammography. “We know, however, that for those who find an abnormality in need of treatment – the earlier she detects it, the better her treatment options are including potentially minimizing or eliminating the more invasive treatments.”
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, only 52 percent of women over the age of 40 who have health insurance get their annual mammogram. This despite the fact that nearly all private insurance carriers cover screening mammograms at 100 percent, with no copay, regardless of the deductible. Additionally, medical research shows that annual mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 64 are key to early detection. The average size of an anomaly when found in a woman who gets regular annual mammograms is the size of a pea versus the average size of a breast anomaly found by a woman doing self-breast exams, which is the size of a walnut. The advantages of early detection can include the possibility of avoiding chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other invasive treatments. Because LGBT women have been observed to get less routine healthcare than other women, including mammograms, the risk for them becomes higher.
According to the American Cancer Society, some reasons for the fewer number of checkups with LGBT women include:
- Lower rates of health insurance: Many policies still do not cover unmarried partners. This makes it harder for many females in this community to get quality healthcare. (Note: Many screening facilities like Solis Mammography have a value screening program designed to give women without insurance an opportunity to get their annual screening mammogram at a reduced fee.)
- Discrimination or fear of discrimination: Many women are afraid to tell their doctors about their sexual orientation because they’re afraid it will affect their quality of care. This can make it more difficult to develop a comfortable relationship with a healthcare provider.
- Negative experiences: Having negative experiences with doctors or other healthcare providers can result in some women either putting off routine checkups (like mammograms) or even skipping them altogether. Missing these tests, and the opportunity for early detection, may make it harder to treat and defeat the disease.
Join Solis Mammography at the 33rd annual Heineken Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, Sept. 18. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. at the corner of Wycliff Avenue and Cedar Springs, continues on Turtle Creek Boulevard and finishes on Fairmont Street. For more information about this free event, please visit, http://dallaspride.org/alan-ross-texas-freedom-parade/.