There are subjects no one wants to talk about. There are lots of subjects we Black folks try our darndest to ignore. But some things will not be ignored. Some decisions about some things do not allow inaction. For some pressing matters, inaction is action. In fact, inaction can be a decision to die. So it is with AIDS and HIV. So it is with obesity and diabetes. And so it is with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
Those of us women who feel we are being diligent about our breasst because we examine ourselves regularly, feel we are safe. We think, “no lump, no problem.” Unfortunately, this is not the case. Inflammatory Breast Cancer (or IBC) does not come with the warning sign/red flag of a lump. It shows up in other ways we may not be prepared to recognize. The thing is– we need to know all we can about Inflammatory Breast Cancer because it strikes African-American woman with more frequency than other groups. And it is a very virilent form of breast cancer. Meaning, it can be aggressive and deadly. According to the IBC Research Foundation, 10% of breast cancer cases in African-Americans are IBC. That’s about double the rate among Whites. Although Black women comprise only 8.4% of all breast cancer cases, they make up 12.6% of all IBC cases.
In light of these grim statistics, I encourage you to read the blog of WhyMommy. She is not African-American. She is, however, dealing with Inflammatory Breast Cancer for the second time, as she has just discovered that cancer has returned to her body. She is an inspiring, brave and very smart woman who is determined to help women get beyond just awareness. She wants us to take action to save ourselves and each other. Click the team WhyMommy button to link below to her lifesaving post about IBC:
And read her post with a mind to save yourself. Then repost or link to it in order to save others. As Black women, we need to combat our history of late detection and higher mortality at the hands of cancer. For more information about Cancer and African American women, visit the Women’s Health.gov by clicking HERE. Arm yourself with information. And then don’t just arm yourself. Wield that weapon for life’s sake. Get your mammograms early and often. And take your mom, daughters, sister and friends with you!
It’s what being proactive is all about!
(Photo Credit: Bill Branson, National Cancer Institute)