October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Millions of women are affected by breast cancer each year and the number is disproportionately higher for Black women. This month Black Women’s Health Imperative partnered with singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige to raise awareness about the growing issue.
The P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign has been designed to address existing health disparities and associated mammography screening rates among Black women across the nation. Resources available include:
- A website, including a video featuring Mary J. Blige addressing the barriers Black women face when it comes to screening, along with additional video testimonials of Black women on this topic;
- Mythbusters featuring common myths and facts about mammography screening;
- Educational resources and FAQs regarding the importance of early detection; and
- Informative content regarding what to expect when getting a mammogram during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Linda Goler Blount, CEO and President of the organization shared her own experiences of how breast cancer affects so many and the advice she would give young Black girls about their health. “the one piece of advice is take care of it [your body], pay attention to what’s going on in your body” says Goler, “We all know when something is wrong[…] don’t let that go, get it checked out. At the end of the day no one says ‘gee, I wish I would’ve spent more time in the office’ while you have your health, protect it, take care of it”.
Black Women’s Health Imperative began in 1983, since its inception the organizations says they have improved Black women’s health physically and emotionally. Some of the reasons the “Real Love” singer signed on to be spokeswoman. “Well it was important to me because I had an aunt, one of my favorite aunts-who passed away from breast cancer, Blige shares, “I believe if they would have had access to this information […]they would be here today”. Mary’s role in the campaign is help raise awareness about the disparities Black women face for mammography screening and now early detection can save lives. Both Mary and Linda encourage Black women to prioritize and act to achieve annual breast cancer screening starting at age 40.
You can donate to the initiative by visiting their website: https://bwhi.org/take-action/
Additionally, as part of the campaign, Hologic is funding comprehensive mammography screening programs at multiple healthcare facilities across the nation in areas of need to help increase access to screening for Black women. These programs will provide access to Hologic’s Genius® 3D Mammography™ exam, the only mammogram FDA approved as superior for all women, including those with dense breasts, compared to 2D mammography alone, as well as diagnosis and treatment services for women who have breast cancer detected at said facilities.