Did you know that black women under 35 are twice as likely to get breast cancer than white women and die at three times the rate? While 92% of Black women agree breast health is important and 25% of Black women have recently discussed it, only 17% have taken steps to understand their risk – meaning often times young black women are unaware of their risk and end up with delayed, more advanced states of breast cancer diagnoses. To be honest, I didn’t know these statistics until I read it via Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance’s For the Love of my Gurls campaign, which is bringing more awareness to the fact that black women are at a higher risk for breast cancer – and further, how black women can understand personal risk through conversation.
The campaign calls for accessing your “Herstory”. Since 10% of breast cancers are hereditary, it’s important to know how your lifestyle, genetics, family and personal health history all impact your cancer risk. Touch outlines really practical steps to gathering your “Herstory”. They also acknowledge how to approach it if accessing your “HERstory” is impossible because of adoption, death or other family events.
Beyond knowing your story, the campaign is promoting what Touch calls, “getting to know your gurls”, also known as, a monthly self-breast exam. We understand for some this may be uncomfortable, but we agree it may be helpful to reframe the thinking of it as a form of self-care. 80% of young women diagnosed with breast cancer find a lump themselves or a partner notices it, so checking your breasts monthly is a key way to stay on top of your health.
The graphics and additional resources shouldn’t be missed so here is the link to the full campaign: https://touchbbca.org/love-of-my-gurls/. Whether this applies to you personally or you can be advocate – we encourage everyone to check it out!
For additional resources, check out our Resource Directory.