Black Breast Cancer Awareness in 2020
The disparities in Black breast cancer mortality is another hard pill to swallow this year.
Black Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to numerous nonprofits, partnerships and campaigns, many people are aware of this month and all the pink merchandise and presentations that go with it. But what is still widely unknown is that although White and Black women are diagnosed with the disease at the same rate, Black women are over 40 percent more likely to die from it, according to the CDC. And with all the events of 2020, it is easy to put a cause that has become such a mainstay of conversations on the backburner.
We want to bring attention to those who are doing the work to bring awareness to and change this disparity. For the Breast of Us, founded by Jasmine Souers and Marissa Thomas, was created to support, uplift, and connect women of color with breast cancer diagnoses. Both young breast cancer survivors, they noted that as Black women they did not feel represented in their process of fighting their illness. They were not able to see what mastectomies would look like on their bodies, what different skin discoloration they would have, or to be connected to trials that actually had Black women as their test subjects. For Breast of Us provides a resource directory for learning about patient rights, bra and prosthesis information and much more, a “Breast Cancer Baddie” directory to connect to other women with a breast cancer diagnosis in your area, a submission blog and merch store. To find more information, check out their site here.
Another organization that is also partnering with advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers and pharmaceutical companies to close this breast cancer disparity is Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance. Founded by Ricki Fairely, a triple negative breast cancer survivor, its mission is to connect all the organizations that can work towards the goal of eliminating breast cancer for all women. The organization is also holding community space for women in the breast cancer community during this pandemic through online conference calls. Find more information at their website here: https://touchbbca.org/welcome-to-touch-the-black-breast-cancer-alliance-
This month has also pushed Black breast cancer survivors in the spotlight in unexpected ways. Through her Savage X Fenty line, Rihanna featured three survivors Cayatanita Leiva, Ericka Hart and Nykia McKenzie for the latest line of Savage X Fenty. They each told their story of survival and modeled the new line. You can read more about the campaign here, and here is the link to view the products and these women’s stories: https://www.savagex.com/sxfthrivers
October has always been the month where we wear pink, have marathons in honor of loved ones, and support those affected by this terrible disease. However in this 2020 climate, we need to look even closer into which communities are being ravaged by health inequalities and why. Make sure to schedule your own or remind a loved one to schedule their mammogram, look into your family history, and stay aware of your body and how it changes. It could save a life.