GREENSBORO, N.C. — A local high school is partnering with a breast screening company during the last week of October as breast cancer awareness month wraps up.
Western Guilford High School partnered with Be Sure, Sure Touch Exams, a physician-led company that focuses on early detection for breast cancer. The mobile unit goes around the country to provide exams to women 25 and up. This week it’s here in the Triad. The mobile unit provides a fast and convenient way for women to participate in the screenings.
“This is more accurate than mammography, and it`s more acceptable, and we go out and do this in mobile units because that`s where people come. They don`t have to make a major appointment. They don`t have to travel anywhere. They come in in a half-hour, and they know they don`t have anything,” said Dr. Henry Grause.
One of the patients, Phebe Eley, assistant principal at Western Guilford High School, took the exam to make sure everything was normal. Eley has a history of cancer in her family so she really understands the importance of catching this disease early.
“About 10 years ago, I had another aunt that died from breast cancer so, because I know the seriousness of it and how it`s impacting my family, I take it very seriously,” Eley said.
Grause explains that technology is a screening procedure. It doesn’t take the place of a mammogram but the tool, which is used in a circular motion around the breast, picks up mass within the breast.
“It takes 15 minutes, it`s painless and radiation-free,” said Grause.
Most doctors agree early detection is key for women, especially those who have a family history and African American women, a group that has a higher mortality rate for breast cancer.
“This technology will reduce the mortality in African American women from 30 percent to 4 to 5 percent if you have this exam every year. If a caucasian woman has the exam every year it will reduce the mortality from 21 percent to 4 percent,” Grause said.
It’s one of the reasons why Phebe didn’t pass up the offer to get screened Monday afternoon and encourages others to recognize the importance before it’s too late.
“I realize as African American women we are ... and research has shown that we die from it in larger amounts versus that of our white counterparts so that research and early detection is everything,” said Eley.
SureTouch will offer breast exams at their mobile unit on the Western Guilford High School Campus all week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, as well as Nov. 4.