In 2015 Angela Williams of Morgan Park was diagnosed with cervical cancer for the first time. Today, after beating cancer three times, Williams wants to do what she can to raise awareness about cervical cancer. Thanks to a group of dedicated doctors from a number of Chicago area hospitals and health equity advocates here at Equal Hope, Williams’ wish is now becoming a reality.
“I see these young women who are in their 30s or 40s with these horrible cervical cancers — advanced stage 3, 4,” Dewdney said. “These are diseases you should be seeing in Third World countries or where they don’t have health care. Every woman that we see is a missed opportunity that somehow the system has failed.”
Chicago’s rate of cervical cancer incidence is 39% higher than the national average and its death rate is 60% higher. As Dr. Nita Lee, assistant professor obstetrics and gynecology at UChicago Medicine, points out, “young African American women are dying from this disease, and they shouldn’t be.” That’s because regular Pap tests should ensure the disease is caught before it becomes fatal. Unfortunately far too many women are missing out on this lifesaving screening.
Equal Hope is now offering high quality cervical cancer screening, diagnoses and treatment for uninsured and underinsured women. Equal Hope is focused on eliminating cervical cancer disparities in Chicago and ultimately eliminating the disease.