Some Panhandle Counties Dire In Breast Health

Brandi Ruiz
Brandi Ruiz
Brenda Graham
Brenda Graham
Amanda Shelton
Amanda Shelton

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Women in certain Panhandle counties apparently are under-served when it comes to breast care, and as a result are dying at higher rate than others.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure's local association says more than $100,000 is there for the taking for counties wanting a grant.

Breast care services apparently are not reaching far enough into certain Panhandle counties.

Mission Coordinator Brandi Ruiz says, "we did a community assessment....and based on all of the data we collected, there are six counties out of the 26 counties that have the highest mortality rate."

Ruiz says Hutchinson county has the highest rate, followed by Randall, Potter, Gray, Carson and Dallam counties.

Brenda Graham cannot emphasize enough how important screening is for women because "I was 37 when I found out I had breast cancer and had a baseline mammogram at 35, which I know now they say not to do, but if not for that I wouldn't be here."

Neither would many other women who are treated at Harrington Cancer Center, one of Komen's past recipients.

It received $160,000 this year, and is still using the money today.

Coordinator Amanda Shelton says, "we have appropriated them for screening mammograms, the majority of patients we have use screening mammograms, we have some available we use for diagnostic evaluations."

If not for the grant, Shelton says it would have meant the difference between life and death for some patients.

Charities can apply for the grants if they use the money for breast care education and services.  They can apply by going here: .