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LSU Health New Orleans Teaches Breast Cancer Early Detection in Beauty Salons and Barbershops

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Leslie Capo

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Because African-American women die from breast cancer more often than others, early detection is critical for them. So, the LSU Health New Orleans Office of Community Relations teamed up with LSU Health New Orleans public health professionals to bring potentially life-saving education to places filled with both women and men every weekend – beauty salons and barbershops. Saturday, October 15 was the seventh annual Beauty is Really Skin Deep community service event.
beauty breast cancer outreach
Former Louisiana State Senator Diana Bajoie, Director of Community Relations at LSU Health New Orleans, and Dr. Denise Johnson, Clinical Director of LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health’s Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program, spent Saturday morning at beauty salons and barbershops across the city armed with educational and instructive materials, along with models of breast tissue with a cancer. They taught the owners, stylists, barbers and clients how to perform breast exams, demonstrating on the models so they could learn firsthand what a breast tumor feels like.
This year Heavenly House of Style Barber and Beauty Shop, 130 Broad Street; Durio’s House of Style, 1832 Gentilly Blvd.; Carter’s Hair Design, 2714 Palmyra Street; Brimmer’s Barber Shop, 1832 Second Street and The Diva’s Hairbox & Nail Salon, 136 South Broad Street hosted the team. Xavier University students rounded out the event with blood pressure screening.


“Teaching stylists and barbers how to use the materials and leaving a supply behind extends the reach of our message,” notes Johnson. “They become the teachers, so this vital information continues to be shared long after we’re gone.”

Because lack of access to screening mammography contributes to the rate of breast cancer death, LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health developed its Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health program in conjunction with the Louisiana Legislature to provide free mammograms to low-income, underserved women throughout the state.

“Louisiana has the second highest breast cancer death rate in the country,” says Bajoie, herself a breast cancer survivor. “We are working to change that and keep women from dying from breast cancer.”

beauty skin deep breast cancer outreach