Women’s Center to provide mammogram screenings for breast cancer awareness

Hannah Sheridan

Kent State’s Women’s Center will offer digital mammogram screenings for Breast Cancer Awareness Month from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13 at the DeWeese Health Center.

This marks the fifth year the Women’s Center has provided mammogram screenings. The center offers screenings in October and April annually.

Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, the interim director of the Women’s Center, said she encourages women to take advantage of the screenings.

“The screening takes about 15 minutes, making it easier for people to make time for it during their own schedules,” Pegg-Kirby said.

Pegg-Kirby said Kent State’s insurance covers the digital screening for faculty, spouses of faculty and students ages 35 and up. Thirty-five is the recommended age women should begin getting screened for breast cancer.

Mammograms are vital, as one in eight American women, about 12 percent, will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to Breastcancer.org.

Before making the move to the DeWeese Health Center two years ago, the screenings were first performed in a mammography van.

“Dr. Diane Kerr of the School of Health Sciences was vocal about getting a mammography van,” Pegg-Kirby said. “It was a joint initiative between her and the Women’s Center to make mammograms more accessible. We wanted to make people more comfortable.”

A study from the Society for Women’s Health Research shows while four out of five women agree access to mammograms is important, 46 percent actually fail to schedule an annual appointment.

“My grandma was 70 when she found out she had breast cancer,” said Ruby Thomas, a junior business management major. “Luckily, she was someone who kept up with yearly mammograms from her doctor. She fought through it and survived.”

Breast cancer cannot be prevented, but people can take action to lower the risks. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can help.

“Many of us don’t make time for our health,” Pegg-Kirby said. “Women should be doing self-examinations throughout the year.”

Hannah Sheridan is the women’s and gender issues reporter. Contact her at [email protected].