There are not a lot of statistics in American life as shocking as the death rates of black women from breast cancer. Specifically, we’re talking about the rate at which black women die from breast cancer compared to white women. Linda Tantawi, the CEO of Susan G. Komen New York City’s affiliate, explains that while black women and white women are diagnosed with breast cancer at the same rate, black women are 40% more likely to die. While there are organizations out there trying to reduce the major disparities in access to care, very few have as much impact and legacy of commitment as Susan G. Komen. Komen operates globally, and the effort they apply to providing hands on help to breast cancer patients of all races is truly extraordinary.
The organization does things such as setting up mobile mammography units for the uninsured, and funding patient navigators to guide women through the treatment process. Despite the effort, there’s still a long way to go. Many women in these underserved communities will delay treatment because they can’t afford to take the time off from work, or because the treatment center is so far from their home. “There’s so many things along the way that can trip up a woman,” Linda says. “Our goal is to get women to treatment sooner so they can survive longer.”Read More