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Free Fire Station Breast Screenings Helping North Texans

Doctor - Patient
(credit: Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - People don't usually think of fire stations as a normal place to go for a breast cancer screenings, but four North Texas women are glad they stopped by one firehouse.

During the month of October opens houses at separate Fort Worth fire stations will also include free breast screenings.

At the first open house, held last Saturday at Fire Station 3 on Ramey Avenue, breast cancer screenings showed positive results in four women. Volunteers and workers knew the service was needed and said they just had to get the word out.

"We had some firemen in the street saying, 'this is what we're gonna do.' Then they [residents] were just coming in in droves, and very gracious, and very thankful," Joan Katz Breast Center director Sherree Bennett said of the people attending the open house.

Bennett said the goal is to find and help who normally won't go in to the hospital for a breast screening. "We wanted to be able to take it [breast screening] out into the community," she said. Unfortunately Bennett said breast screenings are, "Not readily available in the neighborhoods where health insurance really isn't readily available. So it's really important to get that information out to them."

The breast screenings done at the fire station open houses are free. Insurance can be used to cover the cost of needed mammograms and there is financial assistance available for some through the Texas Breast and Cervical Cancer Services.

All of the people with positive clinical breast exams were women who were then referred on to get mammograms.

"When there is an opportunity to learn about their health women usually partake of that pretty well. I actually was very pleased at the women who turned out," Bennett said.

Doctors also say it's very important for men to be aware that they too can fall victim to breast cancer.

There are two more firehouse open houses that include breast screenings, scheduled:

Saturday, October 13
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fire Station 17 at 212 E. Felix Street, Fort Worth 76115

Saturday, October 20
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fire Station 25 at 3801 N. main Street, Fort Worth 76106

As usual, the open houses also include fire station tours, fire safety instruction, clowns for the kids and free hot dogs.

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