Black Women Highlighted During Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As Breast Cancer Awareness is highlighted every October, this year’s advocacy sheds light on Black women and why they, specifically, should advocate for themselves.
“Black women are disproportionately affected by more aggressive forms of breast cancer and more likely to die from it,” shared Tresia Bowles, an anchor at 11Alive, a broadcast news program in Atlanta.
Given the staggering revelation, Black women are encouraged to check on their bodies regularly and prioritize their health, as their life depends on this practice.
“Sometimes we get so caught up as mothers and caregivers that we forget to take care of ourselves,” said Bowles’ mother, Calvina, a respiratory therapist. The video also noted the disparities between Black women patients, as opposed to other races, when seeking hospital treatment.
As the program explained, the health concerns of Black women are often taken less seriously by doctors and other healthcare professionals.
“When it’s finally time for Black women to start putting themselves first and speaking up, it can fall on deaf ears.”
Karita Robinson, diagnosed with the illness in 2020, spoke of being met with resistance to get the proper testing she needed, “Sometimes when we do go to the doctor, our concerns are kind of overlooked, and that was my experience initially.”
This healthcare discrimination extends to Black women’s reproductive plight, with the steady increase in maternal mortality being an additional concern.
These breast cancer survivors contributed to their ability to beat the illness partly due to self-advocacy and upliftment from their support system.
“Black women in particular need to take initiative to go out and find the resources to get a mammogram,” shared Calvina Bowles, a triple-negative breast cancer survivor. “Don’t put that off ever.”
For Georgia residents wanting to support women as they put their health first, the annual 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer will be held from Oct. 7-8, with onsite registration to be made available.