Your Race and Where You Live Should Not Determine Whether You Live

Overcoming Issues Like Systemic Racism to Achieve Health Equity for the Black Community

Everyone is at risk of breast cancer—but some of us are at higher risk than others. Learn more about how you can stay on top of your breast health.

“Breast cancer mortality disparities are persistent and pervasive in the Black community. Research is essential to both understand the drivers of disparities and facilitate the prioritization of therapeutic, behavioral, and policy interventions to improve outcomes in marginalized populations.”

— Dr. Lauren McCullough, Komen Research Scholar

Disparities in Breast Cancer Outcomes for Black Women in the U.S. are Unacceptable.

Black women are about 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

Black women have a lower 5-year breast cancer survival rate compared to white women.

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age, at later stages and with more aggressive types of breast cancer than white women.

These disparities are not only issues of health, but of racial, ethnic and social injustices that contribute to unequal access to affordable, high-quality health care, a lack of cultural competency among clinicians, and so much more.

Disparities in breast cancer outcomes expose underlying inequities

Socioeconomic Factors

Housing, employment, income, food security, education

Racism

Structural racism, cultural racism and individual discrimination

Clinical Health

Chronic disease comorbidities, health behaviors

Access to Care and Information

Coverage, placement of testing sites, internet access enabling telehealth

Quality of Care and Experience

Trust, provider bias, language and cultural barriers

Komen is committed to eliminating barriers and reducing disparities in breast cancer outcomes for Black women by:

Connect

Connecting black breast cancer patients to high quality care and overcoming barriers in the health care system through patient navigation

Empower

Empowering patients with evidence-based information about breast cancer, their rights as a breast cancer patient, and options along care pathways

Spark

Sparking research discoveries that will provide improved treatments and care that overcome the drivers of disparities

Support

Supporting young Black scientists with funding to advance their research careers, to ensure diversity in research leadership

Speaking Truth

Speaking Truth to Power in our state and national capitols by elevating the voice of Black breast cancer patients in public policy advocacy

African-American Health Equity Initiative:
From Education to Impact

Our goal is to reduce breast cancer mortality rates between Black and White women by 25% in the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas where disparities are the greatest.

Click on theicons below to find more information on the U.S. metropolitan areas with the greatest disparities in breast cancer mortality rates between Black and white women.

Achieving African American Health Equity

Susan G. Komen works toward breast health equity for the Black community in 10 targeted
metropolitan areas through four key interventions:

  Patient Navigation

Komen is recruiting, training and increasing the number of Black breast cancer patient navigators in these 10 U.S. metropolitan areas where breast cancer inequities among Black women are the greatest.

  Genetic Testing and Counseling

Komen is implementing genetic testing and counseling programs to help Black women learn if their breast cancer or family history of the disease is due to an inherited gene mutation.


  ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative

In partnership with ASCO, Komen is implementing a structured quality improvement program for health care providers at sites in cities with the highest breast cancer disparities between Black and white women.

  Mammogram Quality Initiative

Komen is developing skill-building programs for mammography technologists and radiologists to improve the quality of image acquisition and interpretation.

Resources

For People:

Warning Signs and Symptoms
Learn more about the warning signs of breast cancer.

Genetic Counseling and Testing
Genetic testing gives people the chance to learn if their breast cancer or family history of breast cancer is due to an inherited gene mutation.

Screening and Early Detection
Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest.

Clinical Trials
Clinical trials offer the chance to try new treatments and possibly benefit from them. They can also study other parts of care including risk reduction, diagnosis and screening.

Get Quality Care
Every person with breast cancer deserves the best care possible.

Financial Assistance & Insurance
Costs related to breast cancer care can quickly become a burden. Find information, resources and support.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Conversation guides on a variety of breast cancer topics to help you talk with your doctor.

Share Your Story
Sharing your personal story can provide solace to yourself and offer hope for others.

For Communities:

Forbes: Big Bet Philanthropy

LOVELL’S FOOD FOR THOUGHT Do We Really Want To Successfully Address Health Inequities?

Dr. Joseph Telfair on health equity at APHA 2017

A Perfect Storm How Tumor Biology, Genomics, and Health Care Delivery Patterns Collide to Create a Racial Survival Disparity in Breast Cancer and Proposed Interventions for Change

Collective Impact Forum Steps to Advancing Equity Through Collective Impact
The 4th Box Sparks Imagination: Equality vs. Equity

Beyond Health Care The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity

2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America

Oprah Magazine Breast Cancer Special Report

Thank you to our committed partners

We invite you to join these noteworthy partners who are making changes in health inequity a priority.

Access to Care and Information

Coverage, placement of testing sites, internet access enabling telehealth

Quality of Care and Experience

Trust, provider bias, language and cultural barriers

Access to Care and Information

Coverage, placement of testing sites, internet access enabling telehealth

Quality of Care and Experience

Trust, provider bias, language and cultural barriers