TOUCH, THE BLACK BREAST CANCER ALLIANCE ™
The Time is Now for a Special TOUCH to Eradicate Black Breast Cancer!
The breast cancer statistics for Black women are devastating and unacceptable. The breast cancer ecosystem is hard at work on researching for new therapies and a cure for breast cancer. That’s all well and good but Black Breast Cancer is a different and unique disease that deserves special attention by all stakeholders. It is the most fatal disease for Black women. As a very blessed survivor/thriver, I can’t let another day go by without taking some serious action. I sincerely appreciate all of the great work being done but the time is now to focus the energy of the breast cancer ecosystem on Black Breast Cancer. No one entity can accomplish this alone. Our work requires collaboration, partnership, shared resources and consistent action, where we can share knowledge and hold each other accountable towards this critical goal. The current work is like an orchestra without a conductor. Every musician is playing their instrument to the best of their ability, but there is no collaborative direction, so the sound is muffled, out of rhythm and sounds more like noise than music. We need to immediately STOP the noise and make music. And, frankly, this analogy is not sufficient to the Black Breast Cancer reality. We need to STOP the dying and give people life. So what are we dealing with when we talk about Black Breast Cancer? Black women are being killed by breast cancer at a 42% higher rate than white women, and Black women have a 31% breast cancer mortality rate – the highest of any U.S. racial or ethnic group (Breast Cancer Prevention Partners). Black women under 35 get breast cancer at two times the rate of white women and die at three times the rate (ACS). The 5-Year Survival is 81% for black women vs 91% for white women (ACS). Black breast cancer survivors have a 39% higher risk of breast cancer recurrence (Phase 3 TAILORx Trial). Black women have a 2.3 times higher odds of being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which grows and spreads faster, has limited treatment options, and worse outcomes ((Lia Scott, Lee Mobley, Tzy-Mey Kuo, and Dora Il'yasova. CANCER ). Black women have the highest TNBC mortality rate with only a 14% five-year relative survival (NCBI). Black women are 60% more likely to have a first diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer than white women (Survival – SEER Program). Not only is the disease more debilitating, Black breast cancer patients access under-resourced hospitals and have imperfect communication with health care providers as well as biased practices in the health care system (NCBI). Enter TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance! Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance was founded to drive the collaborative efforts of patients, survivors, advocates, advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers and pharmaceutical companies to work collectively, with accountability, towards the common goal of eradicating Black Breast Cancer. Though there are numerous breast cancer advocacy groups and stakeholders, TOUCHBBCA will aggressively address the need to bring all stakeholders together to serve as allies in this army to fight Black Breast Cancer. TOUCHBBCA will focus on understanding what makes Black Breast Cancer different. We will probe to uncover, analyze and address the science, the physiological differences, the psycho-social factors, the social determinants of health, the genomics and genetics and the essence of what makes Black women experience a different and highly fatal disease. Our programs will focus on elevating early detection, encouraging knowing your HERstory, advancing self-advocacy, driving clinical trial participation and fostering real world evidence. Imagine we have a very big house, with many rooms for our allies. When you arrive at our front door you are in need of something relative to Black Breast Cancer. We welcome you in and you find what you need (a clinical trial, a support group, a hug, information, a doctor reference, a Breastie testimony, whatever!) in our house. When you leave our house, you have been enriched, educated and inspired in some way that satisfies your need. We obviously can’t guarantee a cure, but you become an ally in our army to fight Black Breast Cancer. The first “product” of Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance is “The Doctor Is In,” a weekly live web series on the BlackDoctor.org Facebook page on Wednesdays at 6pm EST. The broadcast with co-hosts, Ricki Fairley and Breast Surgical Oncologist Dr. Monique Gary, is a lively and heart-warming “girlfriend” conversation between experts and Breasties to provide relevant, relatable and real information on the Black breast cancer experience.
Look forward to more programs from TOUCHBBCA as we approach October, which we are renaming #BlackBreastCancer Action Month.
Join forces with us and become an ally in our army to fight this fight! Email us at [email protected]
Find us at www.touchbbca.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @touchbbca. If you want to support our efforts, your gift will be put to good use in the fight to eradicate Black Breast Cancer.
Black Breast Cancer is the most fatal disease for Black women. As we work towards bringing attention and resources to this disease that is killing Black women at rate of 40% over white women, we desperately need to find a cure. Your gift will get us closer to that goal. It will help fund research, education and programs that will make a difference and save lives!