Studies have shown when it comes to health care equity, Northwest Ohio lags behind the nation in breast cancer diagnoses.
SYLVANIA, Ohio — Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day. It’s a day celebrating women’s right to vote and was the start for women gaining equal footing to men. There are still areas that need more work, one of them is the Health Care Equity.
Studies have shown when it comes to health care equity, northwest Ohio lags behind the nation in breast cancer diagnoses. Susan G. Komen Foundation Northwest Ohio Executive Director Gretchen Awad said data shows 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer across the United States. But in northwest Ohio, breast cancers diagnoses are not as high.
“Our northwest Ohio community is very broad, very diverse, lots of health care options focused in the more urban areas and not necessarily the more rural areas. So that is where the disparities come to play,” Awad said.
Sylvania resident Jeanenelle Hart has beaten cancer twice! She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1994, beat it and then had breast cancer in 2013 and beat that, too.
“Sometimes when I re-read that I think, damn. I deserve some champagne,” said Hart.
She made her journey into a book: The Cancer Diaries.
“That was sort of fun for me, taking pictures and putting pictures in there,” expressed Hart.
She said women must put themselves first .
“You’ve got to take charge sometimes. To me, there is very little more important to take charge of than your own health.
Equitable health care for men and women are different sometimes and we have come a long long way,” Awad said.
Both women agree that standing up for your health is important because access to health care may not always be close. Not to mention, doctors don’t always know what’s best for you, like you do. So trust your gut and get that second opinion.
“They told me that I was crazy. Tom had to go to every doctor appointment with me after that. I saw about 12 doctors. 12 different doctors. Even the great Cleveland Clinic couldn’t diagnose me,” said Hart.
“Where you live, shouldn’t determine if you live,” said Awad.
“It’s never just a diagnoses, it’s always a story,” said Hart.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is Sunday, Sept. 25 in downtown Toledo. Money raised from the event goes to research and patient support.