announced the launch of a free educational resource that provides accurate and useful information about breast cancer to women and men in the Black and African-American communities, furthering Komen’s commitment to eliminating the disparities in breast cancer mortality rates affecting women of color in the United States.
Available online now, this new Toolkit provides Komen, its network of Affiliates and community organizations nationwide with culturally relevant breast cancer information for Black and African-American women and men. This evolving resource gives health educators and community leaders essential breast cancer information that can be shared with the community.
While African-American women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer overall than their white counterparts, nationwide statistics show they are 44 percent more likely to die from the disease. Young African-American women (under 45 years of age) are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than white women in the same age groups, and African-American women overall are more likely to be diagnosed at more advanced stages and with more aggressive forms of the disease (such as triple negative breast cancer).
“Achieving health equity for every person facing breast cancer is a top priority for Komen,” said Komen President and CEO Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S. “By providing accurate breast cancer information to women and health educators through this Toolkit, we hope to reduce the profound breast cancer disparities affecting Black and African-American communities, increase knowledge of this disease, and help women feel more confident to make important breast care decisions.”
This Toolkit is intended to support health educators working with the Black and African-American communities, by providing culturally specific communication resources including tips, sample messages, breast cancer statistics, resources to address barriers to care and videos.
“We now have a way to empower Black and African-American women with the knowledge and information they need to become more proactive about their breast health. The Toolkit will play a key role in helping to mitigate the fear and avoidance we see among women in the community about getting their annual mammograms. It will also play an instrumental role in helping to dispel the myths about screening and breast cancer that exist in the community,” said Rhonda M. Smith, CEO of Breast Cancer Partner, and Project Manager, Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise California Initiative.
The new Toolkit augments the more than $90 million in research that Komen has invested in understanding and addressing breast cancer disparities. Last year, Komen published a similar Toolkit for the Hispanic/Latino community.
Educators and anyone interested in using this resource (or the bilingual Breast Cancer Education Toolkit for Hispanic/Latino Communities) can register to access and download this resource at komentoolkits.org.