More local women with breast cancer - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

More local women with breast cancer

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Free screenings are saving the lives of many area women. Dozens who couldn't afford mammograms are having breast cancer detected early.

Linda Knox of Amarillo had been receiving mammograms annually for several years. Know says, "I skipped a year on getting a mammogram, and guess what? I had cancer."

She discovered it through the free screenings. Knox says, "She walked in the room. She put her head down. And I immediately turned away from everyone, and I gave it to god."

Knox is now a survivor after getting a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Rakhshanda Rahman is the Director of Breast Center of Excellence. She says, "There are big gaps in panhandle where the uninsured women have really nobody to go to. So our grant addresses that gap."

More than 1,000 women without insurance or a policy that covers mammograms, have gotten free tests since 2010 with the help of a Texas Tech Health Sciences Center grant. Around 50 of those women have been discovered they had cancer through the screenings.

The year before they became available, 78% of patients treated were early stage. Last year, 95% were detected early.

Mary Barlow caught her cancer through self-checking. She says, "I noticed a dimple in my right breast that had not been there previously. I was a very devoted patient to having my mammograms done, once a year, just like I was supposed to. But in my case it did not catch the tumor." So Barlow says it's important to check different ways including consulting with a doctor.

Free screenings for women who can not afford them will be offered at the United on River Road in Amarillo from 3 to 5 Saturday afternoon.

 

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.