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Black Women Are More Likely To Die From Breast Cancer Than White Women. A Renovated West Side Clinic Aims To Improve The Survival Rate

The Barbara Bates Imaging Center at Mount Sinai Hospital will bring West Side women more advanced mammograms, screenings and breast cancer services.

Barbara Bates at Sinai Chicago's new breast health clinic.
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NORTH LAWNDALE — Renovations to Sinai Chicago’s imaging center have brought more comprehensive women’s health services to patients on the West Side.

The newly renovated Barbara Bates Imaging Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, 1500 S. Fairfield Ave., offers all the routine breast health services already offered at the hospital, as well as state-of-the-art mammogram and imaging services and high-quality breast cancer treatments.

The clinic is also designed to be more comfortable and welcoming for women coming in for screenings and imaging services. The investment into the women’s health clinic is aimed at tackling the health disparities that impact people on the West Side, hospital leaders said.

“Our ultimate ambition is to build a nationally accredited breast center of excellence that will mitigate some of the health disparities that diminish our neighborhoods,” said Dr. Erica Guzalo, Section Chief of Mammography of Sinai Chicago.

The hospital’s research arm, Sinai Urban Health Institute, conducted a study in 2006 examining racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes. The study showed that while Black women are less likely to develop breast cancer than white women in Chicago, they were 68 percent more likely to die from the disease at the time.

Efforts to improve the breast cancer survival rates among Black women made significant progress in shrinking that gap, but a large disparity still exists, more recent studies have shown.

The center is dedicated to fashion designer Barbara Bates, founder of the Barbara Bates Foundation, which helped fund Sinai’s improved breast health services. Bates is a breast cancer survivor, and her nonprofit does breast cancer awareness, education and advocacy in communities on the South and West Sides of Chicago.

The clinic is expected to add additional services in 2022, including 3D imaging, a more advanced mammogram that has been shown to improve breast cancer detection rates.

 “This center is an example of health equity in action, competing with the bigger institutions, but here on the West Side,” Bates said.

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