Breast exam certification means early breast examinations for Dallas County women

More underserved Dallas County women will receive potentially life-saving breast examinations through a UNT Health Science Center breast cancer education program.

Angela Williams, RN, recently completed the MammaCare Clinical Breast Examination Certification, a recognized medical and scientific standard for performing and teaching proficient clinical breast examinations (CBE).

Williams will use the certification to perform breast exams during breast cancer education classes held in the community for women through the Dallas Cancer Disparities Community Coalition Breast Cancer Education Program.  Previously, Williams only could share educational information and encourage women to get mammograms.

“This is important because I can now perform CBE exams prior to our program participant   having to go on the mobile unit to get a mammogram,” Williams said. “If a women’s CBE is abnormal, I can navigate them straight to our health care community partner for assistance, which makes the process easier for the participants and more cost-effective.”

After she gains six months of experience performing exams, Williams will become qualified to take the specialist certification. This will allow her to certify other clinical professionals to perform the MammaCare method.

The program, designed to increase prevention, screening and early detection of breast cancer in women 40 years or older, was launched in 2007 by the UNTHSC Center for Community Health within the Texas Prevention Institute. The program reaches 500 to 600 women a year.

It is estimated that there are 5,530 people living with breast cancer in Dallas County.

UNTHSC hopes eventually to secure funding to expand the program into Tarrant County, said Kim Linnear, Associate Director, Center for Community Health.

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