Important Screenings

Komen reaches out for breast health

Cervante Pope | 6/1/2016, 11:42 a.m.
“The statistics in the African American community are alarming, and we need to do something to address the disparities."
Community representatives and volunteers with the Susan G. Komen foundation work together to help educate African American women on the importance of early detection.

A grand imbalance exists between breast cancer screening and late stage diagnosis rates inside the black community and officials and volunteers with the Susan G. Komen Foundation are working to pinpoint a corrective course of action.

The non-profit group’s Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter have adopted a new initiative to increase breast health education and support services for the local African American community. Taking into consideration that breast cancer is the second most common cause of death among black women, the goal is to get more people from the Portland and Vancouver area to screen for disease.

“The statistics in the African American community are alarming, and we need to do something to address the disparities. African American women have a higher chance of developing a more aggressive form of breast cancer earlier in life, so screening and early detection is that much more important in saving lives,” says Cindy Fletcher, director of programs for Komen Oregon and SW Washington.

One of the ways Komen is reaching out is by expanding its Worship in Pink program, which enlists the help of diverse congregations and community organizations of all faiths to increase the number of women getting mammograms with education and inspiration.

Worship in Pink traditionally takes place throughout the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but Komen hosts free information sessions all year round that go more in depth about the program and ways to involve your own congregation.

Members of the faith community who are interested in helping with Worship in Pink are encouraged to attend two upcoming information sessions on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Wednesday, June 8 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, 2901 N. Gantenbein Ave., Room 1035. For more about the sessions, visit komenoregon.org/worshipinpink.