National campaign aims to educate black women about their breast cancer risk to address disparities.
Black women in the U.S. are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Locally, the Philadelphia metro region ranks number nine on a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest rates of breast cancer mortalityand late-stage diagnoses among African Americans.
To address this unacceptable disparity, Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, and the Ad Council, the nation’s foremost producer of public service communications, launched Know Your Girls, a national campaign to educate and inspire black women to understand their risk for breast cancer and take charge of their breast health. Susan G. Komen® Philadelphia is proud to lend its support to the campaign as an extension of its own aggressive breast health equity initiative which aims to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in the Komen Philadelphia service area by 10 percent by the year 2021. The new Know Your Girls campaign empowers black women, ages 30-55 years old, to treat their breasts with the same attentiveness and understanding they share with the women in their lives.
“Last January, Komen Philadelphia launched an initiative to establish powerful partnerships focused on ending the deplorable situation for African Americans when it comes to breast cancer survival,” said Elaine I. Grobman, CEO, Komen Philadelphia. “Our first-ever African-American Leadership Forum for Breast Health Equity brought together top breast cancer healthcare providers and activists with approximately leaders from the local government, social service and corporate communities, and we immediately mobilized in finding the African-American women in the shadows and removing the barriers that have prevented them from taking care of our breast health. As we forge ahead in this mission, we are so very excited to have Know Your Girlscampaign also fueling our efforts. Without a doubt this campaign will help us reach—and save the lives—of more women every day.”
The campaign includes TV, radio, print, out-of-home, and digital PSAswhich direct women to KnowYourGirls.org.The comprehensive website features easy-to-understand resources that help women navigate breast cancer risk factors, recognize changes in their own breasts, and prepare to have a conversation with a doctor. Many of the resources are shared from the perspectives of real women who have chosen to learn about their breast health, experienced breast cancer first-hand, or supported a friend who was navigating the disease.
The Know Your Girls campaign will help Susan G. Komen work to achieve their Bold Goal to reduce the current 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Closing the gap in health disparities is crucial to achieving theBold Goal.
“As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to breast cancer, I understand all too well the pain and heartbreak of this disease,” said Paula Schneider, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “We hope this campaign empowers black women to learn about breast cancer risk and the resources available to take action.”
Through their African American Health Equity Initiative, Komen is already working to reduce the mortality gap between black women and white women by 25 percent, focusing first on the 10 cities where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of black women are highest. In some cities, the disparity in breast cancer mortality rate between black and white women is as high as 74%.