Breast cancer screening efforts aimed at black women

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.

WellFlorida is putting out the call to predominantly black churches in the area to help boost the rates of breast cancer screening among black women.

The state-designated local health council for North Central Florida was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society Florida Division's Community Education Grant Program to Address Cancer Disparities for this fiscal year, taking aim at the disease that is the second-leading cause of death among American women.

Compared with 57.1 percent of white women older than 40 who had a screening mammogram, just 30.8 percent of black women in the same category had mammograms, according to WellFlorida officials. Meanwhile, the death rate for black women from breast cancer was more than 40 percent more than their white counterparts.

The grant will support the program “Believe! Breast Cancer Prevention Through Churches” in an effort to improve those numbers. The evidence-based program will reach out to representatives from those churches so that these representatives, in turn, show female parishioners how to prevent breast cancer through mammography and routine self-exams.

WellFlorida is the state-designated local health council for North Central Florida. Anyone interested in having their church be a part of this effort should contact Kim Gokhale at WellFlorida by calling 352-313-6500, ext. 127 or emailing her at

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