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Katie Hill
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For the second year in a row, Solis Mammography – the nation’s largest independent provider of breast imaging services – will join Dallas’ LGBT+ community as a sponsor of the 34th annual Alan J. Ross Texas Freedom Parade to support, educate and empower Dallas’ LGBT+ identified women in their freedom to make informed decisions regarding breast health. The parade takes place Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m.

Solis Mammography team members will ride on a custom-made float appropriately themed, “Treating ‘The Girls’ Equally Since 1986!”

According to the American Cancer Society, the LGBT+ community of women has higher rates of breast cancer than heterosexual women. Cancer rates tend to be higher in women who haven’t had children, haven’t breastfed, haven’t used oral contraceptives or who are older when they first give birth. Medical research clearly shows that annual mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 64 are key, and that the earlier a woman and her physician discover a breast health issue, the better her treatment options are (potentially minimizing or eliminating the more invasive treatments). However, because LGBT+ women have been observed to receive less routine healthcare than other women, including mammograms, the risk for them becomes higher.

According to the American Cancer Society, some of the reasons for the fewer number of checkups with LGBT+ women include:

  • Lower rates of health insurance: Many policies still do not cover unmarried partners, which makes it harder for many individuals 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 health care provider.
  • Negative experiences: Having negative experiences with doctors or other health care 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. (Solis’ warm and welcoming approach has reinvented the traditional mammogram experience, with a compassionate, patient-focused approach to mammography.)

“No woman really wants to get a mammogram; what women want is to know that they are healthy,” says James Polfreman, president and CEO of Solis Mammography. “However, annual mammograms offer women peace of mind, either by knowing they are all clear for another year or by finding any concerns at the earliest stage to offer the best treatment options possible. At Solis, we believe that every woman deserves equal access to the best breast health care available.

Join Solis Mammography at the 34th annual Alan J. Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday, Sept. 17. 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/.

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