Queens lawmaker to host free breast cancer screening event in Glen Oaks

A young woman is doing a breast ultrasound for preventive breast cancer care
Photo via Getty Images

Councilwoman Linda Lee is partnering with the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, the Queens Public Library, and Chinese American IPA (CAIPA) to bring a mammogram bus to provide free breast cancer screenings for women in eastern Queens on Friday, May 19. 

The event will be held across from the Glen Oaks Public Library from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Women between the ages of 40 and 79 who haven’t had a mammogram in the last 12 months are encouraged to schedule an appointment. Uninsured patients are welcome. No co-pays are required and deductibles are waived. 

“Early detection is critical and can save lives, so I want to make sure eastern Queens residents have access to the resources that keep our communities healthy,” said Lee, chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addictions. “Particularly in communities where individuals may opt for skipping regular checkups due to issues with health insurance, it is important to spread awareness about the necessity of receiving your yearly check-ups and mammograms to detect breast cancer at its onset.” 

Screening tests are used to find cancer before a person has any symptoms. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women who are 50 to 74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every two years. 

Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor or other healthcare providers about when to start and how often to get a mammogram. Women should weigh the benefits and risks of screening tests when deciding whether to begin getting mammograms before age 50. For many women, mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

Ruth Vega, director of Cancer Screening, Outreach, and Education for the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, said the organization “greatly appreciates Council Member Lee’s support of its Mobile Mammography Program, which helps bring life-saving breast cancer screening services to her constituents.”

QPL President Dennis Walcott said the library’s partnership with Lee to offer free mammograms is a great example of the kinds of health and wellness resources, programs and services they provide. 

“Our goal is to help people be successful in all aspects of their lives, including their health, and we hope that as many individuals as possible take advantage of this chance to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages,” Walcott said. 

Dr. George Liu, CAIPA president and CEO, said its provider network currently provides medical services and care to about half-a-million patients in the Asian community. 

“As a district with a significant Asian population, we understand the challenges faced by those without health insurance or access to timely screenings,” Liu said. “By increasing awareness of the importance of early detection and providing free and convenient screening services, we encourage all Asian American women to take advantage of this opportunity and prioritize their breast health.” 

Residents are encouraged to call Lee’s office at 718-468-0137 or 877-628-9090 to reserve their appointment.