I recently had the opportunity to chat with Cindy Sanford, the chair of the Alliance House’s Black Women Breast Cancer Awareness committee. Here’s a snippet from our exchange:
Q: What is the mission and primary goals of the Black Women Breast Cancer Awareness committee?
A: “BWBCA’s daily mission is to advocate for better services for Black women dealing with breast cancer, present workshops, and assist with providing breast screenings, mammograms and offer support after diagnosis in an effort to reduce the high rate of mortality in the state of Tennessee.”
Q: How did you personally become involved with the committee and the Alliance House?
A: I was an honoree at the 2021 BWBCA Gala and was asked to join the committee. The Committee has a strong commitment to reducing the health disparities in the black community
Q: What are some key steps that our community can take to address racial disparities in diagnosis and treatment that contribute to higher death rates from breast cancer amongst Black women [https://www.alliancehousecc.org/post/breast-cancer-shouldn-t-be-a-death-sentence]?
A: Black women need to:
Know their family health history
Schedule and attend all Dr. appointments
Perform monthly self breast exams
If something does not feel/look normal schedule an appointment and demand a 3D mammogram
GET a MAMMOGRAM yearly (you will survive a little discomfort)
1. Ages 40+
2. Ages 30-39 if there is a family history
v. Re-evaluate your diet and exercise routines and make changes accordingly
Those that support Black women need to:
Check in to make sure appointments are attended
Encourage women to do a monthly breast exam
Advocate for better access to health care
Educate yourself on health disparities in diagnosis and treatment for Black women. Share your knowledge with anyone and everyone
Support causes that help reduce these disparities with resources (time, finances, etc.)
Q: How can Alliance House newsletter readers help with this initiative?
A: “Readers can volunteer their time and resources to the BWBCA committee. Readers can also go to the Alliance House website to learn more about the work BWBCA is doing, read and share the research that is available with those that can help the community take charge of their health.”