As we approach the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we could not ignore the need to address the impacts of breast cancer on our community of Black women.
So, as part of the usual Monday evening AATS IG lives, we had guest Augusta Rullow on Monday 26 to talk about taking care of yourself and bringing awareness to cancer in women of color.
Augusta joined AATS Founder Mellany to talk about the urgency for women to get screened. She suggested having a mammogram done once you reach the age of 40, and earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer.
She also shared some resources for testing and support.
Augusta is a certified Cancer Registrar and is very familiar with patients dealing with cancer treatments and the support they need even after getting a healthy diagnosis.
She is also the Founder of Cancer Survivors in Action, a non-profit organization started in Trinidad & Tobago in 2016.
In 2016, she spearheaded the Caribbean Cancer Survivorship Conference with the University of Trinidad & Tobago. In attendance were many distinguished guests including the Minister of Health, The Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh.
That same year CSIA held its first fundraiser Picnic en Blush at a breathtaking location with a world-renowned chef and great entertainment. It was a party for a cause!
That party has continued and this year, although the pandemic forced us inside, Augusta organized Pinkish Brunch, a virtual event via Zoom that ran for 5-6 hours last Sunday 25 October.
Augusta speared no detail, preparing food and inviting a few close friends to dine in as they celebrated liberation and hope in the name of cancer survival.
As part of the evening’s proceedings was a silent auction of artwork by Makela Demas (Mahd!haus.org) to raise funds to support the organization and cancer survivors. the fundraiser was started in the name of L J Samuel, (a previous AATS Wellness Podcast guest).
Catch a glimpse of our convo below.
Facts About Cancer in Black Women
According to the CDC, Black women and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women.
- Compared with white women, breast cancer incidence rates were higher among black women who are younger than 60 years old, but lower among black women who are 60 years old or older.
- Breast cancer was more likely to be found at an earlier stage among white women than among black women.
- Among women who were 60 to 69 years old, breast cancer death rates dropped 2% per year among white women, compared with 1% per year among black women. This was the largest difference by race.
It is very important that every woman gets screened for all types of cancers.
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual mammograms if they wish to do so.
- At the time of menopause, all women should be told about the risks and symptoms of endometrial cancer and strongly encouraged to report any vaginal bleeding, discharge, or spotting to their doctor.
- All women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21.
- Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. They should not be tested for HPV unless it’s needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
- Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years. This is the preferred approach, but it’s also OK to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
Here are a few online cancer-related resources we compiled for you below.
Maimonides Medical Center – (ask about their FREE Mammogram program
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