We can’t let October pass by without putting the spotlight on a cause that affects too many women across the world. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the time of year where pink floods our nation. From football cleats to pink hair, there’s no shortage of support for raising awareness for the fight against this awful disease. One thing we need to talk about is how breast cancer affects Black women.
Did you know that the American Cancer Society reports that even though White women are more likely to develop the disease, Black women are more likely to die from it. The statistics only get worse for Black women under 35. The reason for this disparity is likely due to several factors, including genetics, the biology of the cancer, and differences in healthcare.
Researchers are still working to identify the exact reason. Furthermore, because black women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate than white women, the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging have recommended that black women be added to groups considered at high risk for breast cancer. This marks the first time black women have been classified as “high risk”.
Despite that progress made in treatments and quality of life for patients, there’s much more to be done. Breast cancer is still the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.
The large racial gap in mortality between White and Black women still leaves a lot to be determined. But, in the meantime, there are things we can do to help! If you are interested in helping Black Women in the fight against breast cancer, please consider donating to one of the following organizations.
Black Women’s Health Imperative. Their mission is to “lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S. Through investments in evidence-based strategies, we deliver bold new programs and advocate health-promoting policies.”
Sisters on A Mission. This non-profit works to “provide information to hundreds of women, their families and friends about the risk factors of breast cancer while promoting healthy lifestyles and the processes of early detection such as mammography, regular doctors’ visits and breast self exams.”
African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. Who’s goal is to educate and support African Americans in their journeys with breast cancer and survivorship.
Of course, cancer doesn’t see color. Women of all races and ethnicities are affected by this horrible disease. As women, we can help against the fight in hope for a better, disease-free tomorrow.