New campaign aims to educate black women on breast cancer

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer younger, at later stages and with more aggressive forms of the disease, limiting treatment options.

Breast cancer

The stats are staggering for black women in the U.S. are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

A recent study found that while 92 percent of black women agree breast health is important, only 25 percent of women have recently discussed breast health with their family, friends, or colleagues and only 17 percent have taken steps to understand their risk for breast cancer.

To address the unacceptable disparity in breast cancer mortality rates, Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, and the Ad Council recently 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.

“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.”

The Know Your Girls campaign encourages 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.

The campaign video features vignettes of a woman at key moments throughout her life. At each occasion, she is surrounded by her girls, the friends and family who have always been her source of support and strength. At the end, the woman reveals that the “girls” who have been with her in every single moment of her life, her breasts, are in fact the ones she might know the least. It also includes TV, radio, print, out-of-home, and digital PSAs which direct women to

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 the Bold Goal.

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.

The campaign will target outreach in these 10 cities to amplify those efforts: Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Long Beach/Los Angeles Metro Area; Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Metro Area; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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