From Access to Outcomes, We Must Repaint the Breast Health Picture.

From Access to Outcomes, We Must Repaint the Breast Health Picture.

Komen has always said, “where you live should not determine whether you live.” We should add that who you love and what gender you identify or don’t identify with should not prevent you from accessing essential breast health education, screenings and treatment.

Breast health disparities within certain communities present alarming statistics. In the African American community, women have a 41 percent higher breast cancer mortality rate than Caucasian women. Further, a study of 177,000 women released early this year by the Journal of American Medicine found that higher percentages of Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native and Hispanic women were diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer than white and Asian or Pacific Islander women. These later stage diagnoses were largely attributed to lack of or inadequate insurance.

These disparities are completely unacceptable.

Access to Education and Screenings Is Vital to Improving Outcomes

To this day, access to mammograms is still a barrier to early detection and still the key to greater chances of survival for underserved community. Komen OC’s Special Initiatives are in place to remove those barriers by providing breast cancer education and screenings to every person in Orange County, no matter their ZIP code.

Komen OC works with community health center partners to help provide low to no-cost services, hosting educational forums such as the annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference, which featured leading researchers and physicians who described the latest advancements in research and care.

This is a period in our history that will be marked by collective and passionate determination to undo the many systems that have perpetuated the cultural, social, economic and health inequities among us. By learning about and spreading the word throughout our communities about the importance of breast care and early detection, we can make strides in achieving more equitable breast health access and outcomes for all.

To learn more about Komen OC’s breast health support and local resources, click here.