susangkomenSince its founding in 1982,Susan G. Komen® has led the movement to make breast cancer something that women talk about and fight in public, rather than hiding in silence. As awareness grows and treatment options improve, deaths from breast cancer have dropped by 38%.

But there is still more to be done. Susan G. Komen’s new bold goal is to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. To do so, the organization is prioritizing access to quality and timely cancer care for the underserved and enhancing its research focus on lethal breast cancers. Why focus on underserved communities? Black women, for example, are about 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than their white peers.

SKThe first step to closing this health disparity is to help black women take charge of their breast health by knowing their risk, knowing their bodies, getting screened and talking with their doctors. That’s where the Know Your Girls campaign comes in. In partnership withthe Ad Council,Susan G. Komen is creating print, television, and digital opportunities for women to learn about the importance of screening and early detection. By giving black women the tools they need to take charge of their breast health, Susan G. Komen and the Ad Council hope to help decrease the number of unnecessary deaths from breast cancer.

For example, Texas-based Nikia Hammonds-Blakely was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump in her breast at the young age of 16. After working with her doctor, Nikia went through several months of radiation and surgeries to beat the cancer with the support of her family and friends. At 33, Nikia again discovered pre-cancerous cells during a mammogram and biopsy — this time in her other breast. It was then that Nikia decided to take a very proactive step to prevent the likely recurrence of breast cancer by undergoing a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. Nikia continues to share her courageous story through the Know Your Girls campaign in hopes to educate more black women about breast health.

Nikia’s message is: “Know your own body. I believe that we have an internal women’s intuition, we know when something is ‘off’.” She also adds, “Look out for other women, your mothers and sisters.  Look out for our breast health as a community.”

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Currently, black women in America are about 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. To help address this inequity and inspire more black women to know their risk, Susan G. Komen® and the Ad Council launched their Breast Cancer Risk Education campaign, Know Your Girls, in May 2018. It is a national public service communications effort to educate and inspire black women to understand their risk for breast cancer and to take charge of their breast health. The Know Your Girls campaign empowers black women 30-55 years old to treat their breasts with the same attentiveness and understanding they share with the women in their lives.

The campaign directs African-American women to KnowYourGirls.org, a comprehensive website that features easy-to-understand resources to help:

○     Understand breast cancer risk factors

○     Learn how they can spot changes in their own breasts

○     Prepare black women to have a conversation with their doctor and much more.

 

We encourage everyone to visit KnowYourGirls.org to find more information on breast health basics, understanding your risk, proper screening techniques, finding care, and more. You can also join the Know Your Girls sisterhood on social media on Instagram (@KnowYourGirls) and Facebook (@KnowYourGirls).