When women of color are involved in medical studies, it gives us opportunities for advanced health care initiatives and makes us a part of the research conversation. Without the inclusion of communities of color in research, breast cancer will continue to be the number-one killer of Hispanic women and the number-two killer of African American women.
A state program that screens low-income women for breast cancer has been paying doctors and clinics $12 million a year to track women whose mammograms showed they were cancer-free. The program –- known as Every Woman Counts -– stopped accepting new patients Jan. 1 because of a self-described lack of funds. The $50 case management fees have been questioned by the Department of Finance, which says other big states don’t pay them, and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst, which recommended eliminating them. The money saved could be used to once again offer mammograms to women who qualify for the program.
Legislation that would reverse major cuts to a program that provides free mammograms for low-income women passed unanimously through the Senate Thursday and was sent to an uncertain fate in the office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.