Buddy Check 25: Encouraging minorities to get screened - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Buddy Check 25: Encouraging minorities to get screened

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- A new initiative in McLean County aims to increase the number of minority women who get screened for breast cancer.

Last year, only 29% of eligible African American women and just 13% of Latino women in the county had annual screening mammograms.

Hair stylists and salon owners are in a unique position to discuss breast health and screening information with their clients.

The Community Cancer Center's 'Pink Partners' project is teaming with local salons to help women take charge of their health.

Salon owner Rosie Smith was a great support system for one of her clients, going with her to all of her chemotherapy appointments.

"I wanted to bridge the barriers for minority women," said Smith.

"I wanted to bring health awareness to them. I wanted to stress how important it is to get breast exams and I wanted them to put their fears aside."

Salons like Rosie's Hair Gallery and Fox and Hounds Day Spa now provide mammogram reminder cards to clients and post information about financial resources for women who need financial help.

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