Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the second most prevalent type of cancer affecting women in the United States. It is also the leading cancer affecting women of all ethnic backgrounds in the country.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to pay tribute to those who have confronted this illness and celebrate survivors’ resilience and strength. It serves as a crucial reminder to advocate for your own health. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC, one out of every eight women in the United States will receive a breast cancer diagnosis during her lifetime. In 2023, it’s estimated that 297,790 women and 2,800 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Chances are, you know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer.
While the pink ribbon symbolizes hope and solidarity, it also draws attention to the disparities that affect Black women in their battle against breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, Black women are 40% more likely to succumb to breast cancer than their white counterparts. Similarly, the mortality rate for Black women under 50 is twice as high as that for white women in the same age group.
Improvements in treatments.
Since the early 1990s, various strategies have been developed to enhance the well-being of breast cancer patients, including early detection and diagnosis, reducing tobacco use, widespread breast cancer screening, and improvements in breast cancer treatments.
Despite advancements in early detection, diagnosis, and screening, many Black women are less likely to receive adequate treatment than white women. Possible risk factors include socioeconomic status, late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer, biological and genetic disparities in tumors, and unequal access to healthcare, among other factors.
That said, numerous Black women have overcome the odds and emerged victorious in their battle against breast cancer. Take a look at these Black celebrities who have triumphed over breast cancer.