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Candlelight Ceremony in Bridgeport Celebrates Breast Cancer Survivors

October 26, 2010

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - African-American women have lower rates of breast cancer than white women, but die from the disease at higher rates. Executive director Marilyn Moore of the Connecticut-based Witness Project, a breast cancer education program, says one reason may be that some patients of color feel a disconnect with their medical providers.

"Sometimes, doctors don't believe that women are going to be compliant, and they don't get the same regime, or they don't get the same information."

A recent study published in the journal Cancer confirmed that African-American women do get less-optimal treatment than white women, even when all women in the study had health insurance.

Moore says the biggest obstacle to women getting treatment IS lack of insurance.

"If they don't have insurance, the patient navigator will take them on and find a provider who will provide a free mammogram, a free Pap, a free pelvic and a free clinical breast exam for them."

The navigator is a woman who helps find care for another woman in need. The organization has facilitated such services for 400 women a year since 2003. Moore says the Witness Project highlights survivors.

"To show people, they got through it; and just like they got through it, you can get through it, too. But what's really important is that you act, right away, on finding a lump in your breast."

Moore's group is holding a candlelight ceremony tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Bridgeport's Common Council Chambers to celebrate all women who've survived breast cancer.


Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT