The days are getting shorter. In the northern Midwest where I live, whispers of the winter chill are in the air. Children are replacing flip-flops with sneakers and the hoodie is again a wardrobe essential. Summer has ended. So is I’m Taking Charge’s September collaboration with the Black Women’s Health Imperative. What have we learned about breast cancer and Black women? Where will we go from here?


Challenges Exist Regarding Breast Cancer and Black Women

breast cancer and black women
Early in the month, we looked at breast cancer mortality among black women. We learned about the reasons that the rate is higher than for any other ethnic group. We also learned about the organizations that are working to put an end to the disparity.

Next, we reported on breast reconstruction and racial disparity. We explained that African American women are twice as likely to choose autologous reconstruction. This was independent of any other factors.


Support Is Available

breast cancer and black women
We welcomed two special contributors: Valerie Rochester, from the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI); and Dr. Frank DellaCroce, from the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery. In her article, “Black Women’s Breast Health Matters,” Valerie told about the obstacles that Black women face. She explained what the BWHI is doing to help them. This includes prevention, treatment standards, and research funding. Dr. DellaCroce discussed the benefits of breast reconstruction. He also explored the reasons that Black women are not as likely to pursue it. He emphasized the important role that health care providers play in educating their patients.

Our other articles in September included a look at some of the particular complications that African American women face with breast surgery, and how to possibly avoid them; a story about the Sistas Rock! Retreat, which is solely for Black women; and strategies for how Black women can get great care for breast cancer and reconstruction, in spite of the disparity.


Looking Ahead

breast cancer and black women

All in all, it’s been a great month. We at I’m Taking Charge appreciate the special focus we took this month, and our new knowledge and understanding will certainly impact our future content. We’ve even created a new mailing list for readers who want to be alerted whenever we publish a story that is unique to the plight of African American women with breast cancer. You can subscribe here if interested.

Thank you for joining us! Be sure to check back here and on our Facebook page during October for our “Voices of Love” campaign. Share your words of love, and if we feature yours, you’ll win a box of tasty pink macaroons! We’ll give them out to the best entries at the end of each week in October! Click on the image below for more info.