Things You Can Do to Support Breast Cancer Awareness – Besides Wearing Pink
By Team Kwanza Jones
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer out there. If you don't know someone who's had it, it's likely you know a person who knows someone who's had it.
As you know, Kwanza Jones makes it her mission to boost others. One of the ways is through boosting equity. Equity means fairness or justice in the way people are treated and that includes equity in health. We all don’t start from the same place but with the right tools, we can boost each other to create a better world for everyone.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer in their lifetimes? Did you also know that Black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women?
Hundreds of thousands of women, especially Black women, delay their breast cancer diagnosis out of fear of being discounted or feeling ashamed.
Breast cancer affects so many lives. Yet it continues to be a taboo conversation amongst families out of fear, shame, and stigma. Imagine how many people can be helped sooner if we simply talk about it rather than avoid it.
It may be a difficult thing for other people to talk about, but we are not afraid to talk about the difficult things. And you shouldn't be either! Boosting health equity starts with sharing information.
That is why Kwanza Jones accepted a role as a board member on the Susan G. Komen's Board of Directors, becoming the first black woman on the board. Even after she joined, she pointed out that there wasn't a lot of diversity on the board. Today, Susan G. Komen is among the top organization with the most diverse Board of Directors.
We may not all be board members of one of the largest breast cancer organizations, but we all have a moral responsibility to help others.
So how will you play your part?
Normalize Talking About Breast Cancer
As Kwanza discussed on Susan G. Komen's Real Pink Podcast, when it comes to breast cancer awareness, communication is half the problem. Grandmothers don't tell their families because they're embarrassed to ask for help. Husbands don't tell their spouses because they're ashamed of the "men who have breast cancer" stigma. Daughters don't tell their mothers because they "should have" gone to the doctor's earlier.
The early diagnosis of breast cancer can make a huge difference. Encourage people to accept reality and to seek help early on, when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.
You have to start the conversation. Let those around you feel comfortable talking about breast cancer. When you take a breast cancer screening test (like getting a mammogram, for instance), let everyone know, and encourage them to do the same. This will inspire action among your inner and outer circle, and offer the strength they need to take the necessary action.
This is one of the basic things to do to help increase breast cancer awareness. If you really want to help, then start the conversation with someone today and see how far it will go.
Check In on Your POC Friends
There’s a reason that the Susan G. Komen Organization created the African American Health Equity Initiative… Because our health care system fails minority populations – especially Black Women – time and time again.
With initiatives like that in place, you can support by reminding Black Women, and all women, to do their monthly self-breast exams. Remind them to go to their yearly check-ups, and to ask for help when they need it. No one succeeds alone, and that's OK. You can even go with a Boost Friend to your next doctor's appointment if that's the kind of support you need!
Remember: Breast Cancer Awareness Starts with You
Why is there fear, shame, and stigma surrounding breast cancer? Because people don't talk about it. So, start by talking about it with every opportunity you have, and to as many people as possible.
Did you know that 85% of women who get breast cancer have NO family history of it? So, we can't afford to leave ANYONE out of the conversation. Let's normalize the topic by checking in on our loved one’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being, often.
Now, if you've been looking for a sign to pick up the phone and check in on a friend, this is it - every second counts.
Bye for now!
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