Ohio has among the highest breast cancer mortality rates of the 50 states, and the rate in Northeast Ohio is higher than the state average - that's the latest assessment from the breast cancer funding and support group "Susan G. Komen for the Cure." Ideastream intern Ruby Hlivko has more.
A study of the 22 counties that Komen Northeast Ohio serves finds Cuyahoga County to be especially concerning. Based on 2009 statistics, the group predicts 32 women out of every 100,000 in Cuyahoga will die of breast cancer in 2011, and statewide, 28 out of every 100,000.
High percentages of uninsured women and late stage-diagnoses were contributing factors to Cuyahoga County being labeled an area of concern-especially in the eastern, urban areas.
Terry Allan, Cuyahoga County Board of Health commissioner, says fear of diagnosis, lack of transportation and childcare, make it harder for many women to get the care they need.
ALLAN: "Place matters. Where you live affects your health, affects your wealth, affects your life expectancy."
Allan says that only 10% of eligible women seek free mammograms and breast exams offered by the health department. The Komen survey will be used to identify where gaps in services exist and target resources to those areas."