Local News

Raleigh Church, Rex Healthcare Bring Mammograms To Congregation

Posted August 9, 2001

— Breast cancer can happen to women of any age, but the risk goes up as you get older. In Wake County, studies show only 41 percent of women over 65 have an annual mammogram. Rex Hospital is hoping to change that by taking the test to older women, and that is what happened Thursday at a local church.

Eva Thorpe and her older sister, Lucy Griffin, are about to be tested for breast cancer. The exam will not be in a doctor's office or hospital The exam room is parked just outside their church.

"I'm a procrastinator and I had never had it done," said Thorpe.

Rex Mobile Mammography serves a radius of 50 miles, visiting offices, malls, and universities. But had it not come to Baptist Grove Church, Thorpe and Griffin may never have been checked.

"I came because it was at my church. I've been here ever since I was three years old. And I'm 68 now. And this is my church."

A friend at church finally convinced Thorpe to do it.

"We were sitting near each other in church, and I just said, are 'you coming out to have this done?' And she said, 'well I need to,' but she never said she hadn't had one. The reason I'm so personally involved in it is I'm a breast cancer survivor," said Edwina Thompson.

Thompson was instrumental in getting the Rex unit at Baptist Grove and promoting it to the members.

Money was not the issue for Thorpe and her sister not getting the exam done. Medicare covers annual mammograms.

"Some of it is fear, worry that they may find something, and not realizing that the earlier you find something, the more likely you are to be fine with the treatment," said Medical Review of North Carolina Project Manager Randee Gordon.

"I want to know; let me know. It's the unknowing that bothers me. If you know something, you can act on it," said Thompson.

Until she knows the results, Thorpe is just acting on faith.

According to the American Cancer Society, three fourths of all new breast cancer cases and 84 percent of breast cancer deaths occur in women 50 or older.


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