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Breast Cancer Screening in Our Community

The burden of cancer is dramatically high in the African American community, and African American women in St. Louis have a 40 percent higher risk of dying of breast cancer than white women. Mammograms can help catch cancer earlier, when it’s more treatable.

Facts About Breast Cancer in Black Women

  • Develops at younger ages
  • Is found at more serious stages
  • Is deadlier
  • But there are steps you can take to protect against breast cancer. And the most important is: Getting yearly mammograms starting at age 40 – or younger if at higher risk. Mammograms can catch cancer early when it can be better treated.

You may have a higher risk of breast cancer than other women if you have:

  • Family members who’ve had certain cancers, especially breast or ovarian cancer
  • Genetic mutation that increases breast cancer risk
  • History of certain types of benign breast disease (like atypical hyperplasia)
  • History of radiation therapy to the chest area
  • Talk to a doctor about your breast cancer risk, ideally by age 30.

Schedule Your Mammogram Today
in the St. Louis Area

Siteman Cancer Center offers five convenient locations to schedule your mammogram. Our radiologists are part of a team of Washington University physicians that includes sub-subspecialized breast health experts. It’s easy to schedule your mammogram by phone or online.

And don’t let the cost keep you from getting your mammograms. Most insurance plans cover breast cancer screening. And Missouri’s Show Me Healthy Women program offers free mammograms for women who need them. For details and a list of locations in St. Louis and across Missouri, visit, call 866-727-9926, or just ask – “are you a Show Me Healthy Women provider.”

What to expect at your mammogram

Take a look as we walk you through what to expect at your mammogram appointment. Make your breast health a priority.

More Breast Health Tips

Take steps to protect your breast health. And help your friends and loved ones do the same.

  • Begin yearly mammograms at age 40
  • Know your family history of cancer and talk to a doctor about your breast cancer risk (by age 30, if possible)
  • Keep weight in check
  • Be physically active – Work up to around 30 minutes or more a day, but any amount is better than none.
  • Limit alcohol – Zero is best
  • Eat a healthy diet filled with fruits & vegetables
  • Don’t smoke
  • Breastfeed, if possible
  • Avoid menopausal hormone therapy

For more information, see 8 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer