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City Of Hope Program Educates African-American Women About Breast Cancer

DUARTE ( — A campaign is underway at City of Hope hospital in Duarte to educate African-American women about the risks of breast cancer.

KCAL9's Melanie Woodrow reports the Patient Navigator program offers support for survivors and raises awareness for those at risk.

Kommah McDowell, a breast cancer survivor and patient navigator, helps fellow survivor Kimberly Stewart navigate the challenging journey of cancer follow-up care.

"Oftentimes when you come out of treatment, you're kind of left hanging," McDowell, who has been cancer-free for eight years, said.

"I needed to know how to eat because I was eating bad," Stewart said. "The whole navigation program navigates your life after breast cancer."

Behavioral scientist Dr. Kimlin Tam Ashing, the driving force behind the program, said black women often get lost in the follow-up phase of treatment.

"We found that 15 percent were not getting mammograms after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment," Ashing said.

Ashing said there's one year left in the three-year study.

"We're finding out that African-American women need a little more in terms of educating and activating them," she said.

Meantime, McDowell and Stewart said their friendship will last a lifetime.

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