BALTIMORE - 52-year-old Pamela Smith is a breast cancer survivor. She knew there was a problem when she started losing weight and losing her hair. A visit to the doctor confirmed her worse fear.
"It's very scary at first. I had a good job, but I had no health insurance. I did not know what I was going to do. Nobody would help me so I came to the Cancer Program," said Smith.
The Baltimore City Cancer Program helps thousands of people with cancer like Pamela. Recently the program received a $200,000 two year grant from the Komen Maryland affiliate, an advocate of fighting breast cancer.
The money helps pay for screening for pap smears, clinical breast exams and mammograms.
"These funds focus on women who have more negative outcomes and help to remove some of the disparities," said Dr. Shana Ntiri with the Baltimore City Cancer Program.
Studies show African American women die at a higher rate than other races and are diagnosed at later stages.
Work for the program not only happens in the doctor's office, but in the Baltimore community. Outreach workers target parts of Baltimore City where the rates of Breast Cancer are high.
They visit churches, ride buses, visit salons to get the word out about breast health.
"I think its good for people to see somebody in the community whether its on a bus or train or a health event, someone is there to talk about health," said Loretta Setzer, an outreach worker.
Pamela Smith hopes other women will take their health seriously with proper doctor visits.
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