race in chicago

Race in Chicago: Fighting Breast Cancer in Black and Brown Communities

Jackson Park Hospital has a new tool to help diagnose breast cancer and is offering free screenings during the month of October to women who qualify.

NBC Universal, Inc.

To celebrate the arrival of new, state-of-the-art technology, Jackson Park Hospital is offering free, 3D mammograms during the month of October to women who qualify.

"3D mammography, for people who read mammography, know that it is much better quality," said Dr. Arlene Richardson, director of radiology at Jackson Park Hospital.

Dr. Richardson believes all women should have access to the advanced technology and is thrilled that the hospital, located at 7531 S. Stony Island Ave. on Chicago’s South Side, now has a 3D mammography machine, after the maker of the machine, Hologic, donated it through an initiative called Project Health Equality.

The company chose Jackson Park Hospital because of its diverse patient population. More than 85 percent of patients are African American or Hispanic. Dr. Richardson said access to a 3D mammography machine can truly save lives.

"Today, Black women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women," Dr. Richardson said. "One of the reasons for that mortality gap is not having access to high-quality imaging like 3D mammography."

Another reason is that breast cancer in Black women is often diagnosed in later stages. That’s why experts say yearly mammograms are key.

Since the 3D machine arrived in August, screenings at Jackson Park Hospital have now gone up by 50 percent.

"That is exactly what the purpose is behind this, absolutely. Awareness is one thing, but action and delivery of care is what it's all about," said Jen Meade, division president of Breast and Skeletal Health for Hologic.

During breast cancer awareness month in October, Jackson Park Hospital is offering free 3D mammograms to women who meet these qualifications:

  • Be between 35 and 40 years-old with a family history can qualify for a baseline mammogram, and women over 40 
  • Have no unusual breast symptoms or prior history of breast cancer 
  • Be at least one full year out from your last normal screening mammogram

Women can make an appointment for a free mammogram in October by calling 773-947-7870 Monday through Friday.

Contact Us