Labs and hospitals working to make breast cancer screening more accessible

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some Arkansans put off breast exams during the pandemic and health leaders are working to make up for that lost time.

Washington Regional offered free clinical breast exams Saturday at the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Cancer Support Home. Jason Kelly, director of outreach services at Washington Regional Medical Foundation, said the event was fully booked.

 “We wanted to take advantage of this being breast cancer awareness month and clearly with the turnout it was needed,” Kelly said.

Kelly said early detection is key when it comes to breast cancer.

“Not only did we offer the clinical breast exam today we have several that will be referred on to mammograms and even more that need diagnostics right away,” Kelly said.

A Fayetteville lab is working to make early detection more accessible for people. Namida Lab is working on technology to be able to see signs of cancer in people’s tears. Lab director, Kelly Kirchner, said the goal is to allow people to do the tear test at home.

“The purpose of the test will be to screen for low and average risk women earlier,” Kirchner said.

Kelly said the Washington Regional Medical Foundation will work to plan more free clinical breast exams within the next year. It also offers financial support for people who might need further cancer screening and testing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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