Get Tough About Breast Cancer

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African–American women are getting tough about breast cancer. Although white women have a slight edge over Black women in getting the disease, more African–American women die from it. This tragic outcome can be avoided by early detection in the form of a mammogram. It’s our best early defense.

Many Black women avoid this lifesaving screening for silly reasons. We say it’s uncomfortable, or we don’t have time, or we can’t find a babysitter, but these are lame excuses that can and do kill us. Weigh the discomfort of a few minutes on a mammogram–screening device against a shortened life and a lengthy, painful death. Weigh the sacrifice of spending about 20 minutes having a mammogram versus having no time left because your life has ended. Weigh the inconvenience of finding a babysitter to keep your children while you have a mammogram against the certainty that your children will grow up without you if you die from breast cancer.

We can do a lot to improve our lives and those of the women we love by building awareness about breast cancer. There are many opportunities in every community for activism. We can walk for a cure, send a donation for research, wear a pink ribbon and volunteer in our local health facility. We can educate ourselves about the disease, who it strikes and why. We can and should acquaint ourselves about the latest breast cancer prevention findings related to genetics, diet and exercise. These are all proactive measures that may help save the lives of countless women and they should be undertaken with vigor. But many answers still elude science. The one affirmative action step we have is the mammogram. It is the only proven diagnostic procedure that facilitates early detection that leads to an early cure.

The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram for women over age 40. Your doctor may advise earlier annual testing if you have a family history of the disease. If you are over 40 or you have family risk factors that increase you odds of developing breast cancer, please don’t take chances.

Breast cancer is a tough opponent that has no mercy when it comes to ending lives and destroying Black families. But we can be as tough as this killer disease. We can eliminate its power to kill us by wiping it out before it spreads. Mammograms are our weapon. Get tough on overcoming fear. Get tough on overcoming apathy. Take personal responsibility for yourself. Schedule an appointment to get a mammogram today!

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