October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Everyone is at risk of breast cancer – but some of us are at higher risk than others. In Colorado 1 in 7 women are at risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Approximately 240,000 women will be diagnosed in 2020 and over 40,000 will die.
Overall, breast cancer incidence (rate of new cases) is lower among Black women than among Caucasian women. However, breast cancer mortality is higher in Black and African American women. Breast cancer mortality is approximately 40% higher in Black women than in Caucasian women. African American women are often diagnosed at a later stage when treatments are limited, costly and the prognosis is poor. They are often diagnosed at a younger age and with more aggressive breast cancer.
In the past, African American women were less likely than White women to get regular mammograms. Lower screening rates in the past may be a possible reason for the difference in survival rates today.
With all of that information in mind, what can each of us do to take care of ourselves and achieve health equity for African American women?
For breast health/cancer information and materials visit www.komen.org to find facts, warning signs and symptoms, statistics, etc.
For information specifically for the African American community visit https://Knowyourgirls.org.
- Know breast health basics.
- Pay attention to your body and know your “girls”.
- Get your mammogram.
- Be your own advocate.
EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.
In the past few years, our local Komen African American Advisory Council impacted the community by participating in health fairs, speaking opportunities, walks and other community events. As a result of the pandemic, we are doing what we can virtually via your newsletters, church bulletins and other media outlets/postings.
Please help us to reach out to the community by posting this article in your community so we can all do our part to lower the mortality rate in the African American community. We appreciate your support.
African American Advisory Council
Susan G. Komen