WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – With many women putting off their breast cancer screenings and yearly doctor’s appointments over COVID-19 concerns, New Hanover Regional Medical Center took its mammography bus into the community Monday night.
The Women’s Health and Wellness Expo was held at Robert Strange Park to try and fill the screening gap for women, making it easier to get a potentially life-saving checkup.
The mammograms were provided to any patient, even if they did not have health insurance to cover the cost.
“I think it’s really important that we realize that breast cancer — it’s faceless, and it can impact anyone. It’s ageless, it can impact you at any age,” says Sheri Shaw, a participant of this year’s event.
While minorities are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer, Shaw encourages women of all races and ages to attend events like this, after having a health scare of her own.
“For me, the first five months of 2021 were quite challenging, where I heard from a friend that she was going to the doctor, and it jolted me to have a colonoscopy. Because of that I had my mammogram, and because of that, I had my exam,” says Shaw.
There were other vendors at the event that provided resources on mental health, domestic violence, and health and wellness. Health care workers were also there to assist women in making appointments for other medical services.
Organizers say this event and others like it are held to bridge the gap in women’s health.
“And a lot of that could be cultural differences and how you view your health. It could be fear, it could be access to care. So again, we just want to put some focus on that. Bring breast health equity to the forefront, and make sure people have the tools they need to manage their health,” says Manager of Community Engagement at NHRMC, Sarah Arthur.
The Women’s Health and Wellness Expo will be held again next year.
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