A real and raw conversation about the impact racism and racial disparities have on the Black woman’s experience with breast cancer
Today, to break the silence surrounding breast cancer in Black women, Carrie’s TOUCH hosts, Intimate Conversations: Black Women, Breast Cancer and Policy. While breast cancer mortality rates have declined over the last few decades, Black women still have a 41% higher breast cancer mortality rate than white women, the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. Fewer Black women are screened, equitably treated, or receive necessary resources and support – and more of them are dying.
“There are deep disparities within breast cancer care – so much so that the statistics have become as frightening as the diagnosis. This is unacceptable,” says Reverend Tammie Denyse, 17-year breast cancer survivor; Co-founder and President, Carrie’s TOUCH; and Co-principal Investigator, Project SOAR. “We as Black women need and deserve the same opportunities to thrive after diagnoses, all the way through treatment and re-entry. We have the right to be heard and not be shamed for using our voices to speak out.”
Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness season and as part of its 15th year anniversary, Carrie’s TOUCH brings together a nationwide, virtual audience of patients, advocates, educators, physicians and policymakers for an intimate conversation that intersects the Black woman breast cancer experience within the narrative of policy and legislation. Participants will hear from: Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Illinois); Mr. Jahmal Miller, System Vice President, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Belonging, CommonSpirit Health; Representative Howard Mosby, CPA, Treasurer of HEAL Inc. and 8-term Member of the Georgia House of Representatives representing District 83; Ms. Shannon Coleman, currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer and Chief, Office of Civil Rights, California Department of Rehabilitation; and more.
Intimate conversations: Black Women, Breast Cancer and Policy is about more than just paying lip service to these issues, it’s the beginning of a series of conversations, which includes education around the issues and actions toward more equitable policies. It’s about moving beyond discussions and developing new pathways that are culturally aware, competent and sensitive. Specifically, this intimate conversation highlights:
- The patient experience, gaps and racial injustice in the healthcare system;
- The lack of diverse representation and mistrust in research and clinical trials;
- The need for cultural competence and;
- Initiatives to address racial inequities, with a focus on federal and state policy.
Carrie’s TOUCH, in partnership with UCLA, will also share data from Project SOAR, “Speaking Our African American Realities,” a clinical study led by Rev. Denyse and Dr. Annette L. Stanton, Department Chair, UCLA Psychology and Co-principal Investigator, Project SOAR. The data provides a first-of-its kind look into the unique experiences faced by Black women diagnosed with breast cancer through the voice of the patient, the concept of the strong Black woman and the impact racism and racial disparities have on the Black patient experience with breast cancer.
“Every woman has their own unique experience when it comes to their breast cancer journey,” says Dr. Stanton. “But time and time again, we’ve seen Black women battling breast cancer who face very specific challenges—challenges that can have a negative effect on their quality of life and that we don’t see across other racial or ethnic groups.”
While this event helps kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month (October) and the global effort to increase awareness about breast cancer, for Carrie’s TOUCH, discussing disparities in different communities around the world continues to be an ongoing conversation.
“We are humanizing the Black woman and her experience with breast cancer,” says Reverend Tawana Davis, 5-year metastatic breast cancer warrior and Co-founder and Board Vice President, Soul 2 Soul Sisters. “We’re working to usher in a new era of advocacy for Black women fighting breast cancer and while we hope this conversation will help move the needle forward, we know there’s a long road ahead.”
Learn more about the event and register here.
About Carrie’s TOUCH
The sole focus of Carrie’s TOUCH is to save more lives of Black women diagnosed with breast cancer and to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to live well after diagnosis. Through the nonprofit’s mission to break the silence that adversely impacts the African American community with regard to breast cancer, Carrie’s TOUCH is a trusted advocate for fair treatment, education and empowerment for patients and the community.
“BREAST CANCER BE LIKE…”
“You have breast cancer” are words nobody wants to hear. But women from across the globe are forced to accept this harsh reality, what happens following the diagnosis is what shapes the burdensome journey. Through a quick-witted, hilariously written campaign video, Carrie’s TOUCH sheds light on the seriousness of the arduous experiences of Black women following their diagnosis with breast cancer. Watch the #BreastCancerBeLike video here.