Make Mammograms Accessible to All Women

6,828 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

22.76% Complete

Sponsor: The Breast Cancer Site

It's time to stop the discrimination against women who can't stand or walk easily.


Sign the petition asking the the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to require imaging clinics nation-wide to a fully accessible mammography machine and other reasonable accommodations for patients with disabilities and limited mobility!

The majority of mammography machines are not easily accessible to women with disabilities and mobility problems, as they require patients to stand up for several minutes.

Older women, who are generally less mobile than their younger counterparts, are also far more likely than younger women to develop cancer, making it more important that they receive regular screenings. But women with disabilities or mobility problems are actually one-third less likely to receive mammograms and other cancer screenings, due at least in part to a lack of access [1]. About 80 percent of women who do not receive their regular annual mammograms also have impaired mobility [2].

It's so important that we make mammograms accessible to all women who need them. In Montana, every clinic that offers mammograms has at least one machine that is accessible to women with disabilities and mobility issues [3]. It's time for the rest of the country to follow their example.

Wheelchair accessible mammography machines do exist. These special machines have an adjustable height feature and removable footplates and armrests so there's plenty of room for a wheelchair or chair to be maneuvered close to the machine. Some are also equipped with handles to hold onto for women who struggle to stand and steady themselves. However, not nearly enough clinics have these machines.

There are plenty of other things clinics could be doing to make mammograms more accessible for limited-mobility patients too [4]. Changing areas should have chairs and should be large enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Clinic entrances should be wheelchair accessible, and longer appointment times should be offered for limited-mobility patients.

Every clinic around the country that offers mammograms should be required to provide a fully accessible mammography machine and other reasonable accommodations for patients with disabilities and limited mobility.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Hinde, N. (2017, September 28). Disabled Women More Likely To Miss Out On Crucial Breast Cancer Screenings. Retrieved October 25, 2017, from https://uk.news.yahoo.com/third-disabled-women-missing-crucial-230218362.html

[2] Todd, A., & Stuifbergen, A. (2011). Barriers and Facilitators Related to Breast Cancer Screening: A Qualitative Study of Women with Multiple Sclerosis. Retrieved October 25, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3430521/

[3] Montana Mammography Directory. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2017, from http://mtdh.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/blog/?page_id=1235

[4] L. (2017, June 16). 10 mammogram questions for wheelchair users. Retrieved October 25, 2017, from http://wommen.org.uk/blog/2017/06/14/physically-disabled-ladies-mammogram/

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The Petition:

To the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,

Too many women with disabilities and mobility issues are missing out on breast cancer screenings because they lack access to a clinic that will work with their limitations.

Having a disability or a mobility problem doesn't make you less likely to get breast cancer, so it shouldn't make you less likely to get screened either.

We demand that the United States Department of Health and Human Services begin requiring all clinics that offer breast screening services across the nation to offer reasonable accommodations to patients with disabilities and limited mobility, including an accessible mammography machine and wheelchair-accessible entrances and changing areas.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: