Breast cancer trend among younger Black women alarms health advocates

KTRK logo
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Breast cancer trend among younger Black women alarms advocates
Alarming statistics from Sisters Network shows Black women, especially younger women, are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The nation's leading voice on Black breast cancer survivorship is sounding the alarm, urging women and men alike to stay aware of their chests.

Houston-based nonprofit Sisters Network said new data shows Black women are now 42% more likely to die of breast cancer than women in other communities.

"Cancer does not discriminate, but disparity wise, we are dying more frequently, being diagnosed with more aggressive cancers," vice president Caleen Allen said.

While early detection is key, Allen said she's troubled that getting mammograms on schedule might still prove too late for some women; data shows Black women under 35 are two times more likely than white women to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

"By the time our women, Black women in particular, are going for their first mammogram, where we're told to go at 40 - if we're getting it younger, by the time we go at 40, we're more advanced." Allen said.

The women, of course, are not alone.

"Our men do get breast cancer, and so we want our men in our lives to also be aware of their bodies," she said. "Make your health a top priority."

Since knowledge is power, Sisters Network will host a free National Black Breast Cancer Summit at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Galleria from Oct. 6-8.

Registration is free and includes access to workshops, resources and advice from medical experts from across the country, including MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"The ladies are going to be educated, empowered, inspired, and feeding their souls," Allen said.

Sisters Network will also present the 2023 Pretty in Pink Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 12-1:30 p.m. Eyewitness News anchor Melanie Lawson will emcee the fundraising event.

Click here for tickets to the Pretty in Pink Awards Luncheon

Author and actress Tina Lifford will deliver a keynote speech at the Saturday luncheon.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Karen E. Jackson Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP), which assists breast cancer survivors nationwide who are facing financial challenges.

See more: ABC13 Community Calendar | Submit your events for free