The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) will observe “Black History Month” this February with a campaign aimed to encourage African American Women and Men to “Plant the S.E.E.D. to Health and History”. The month long campaign, supported by Highmark Delaware and the Laffey-McHugh Foundation, will provide participants with a DBCC family health history tree to capture conditions that may be hereditary and use as a tool to talk to their doctor about appropriate screening and personal risk factors. DBCC will also provide breast health information and screening resources to address those who have a family history of breast cancer.
According to statistics, black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than any other race, even though they are diagnosed less often with the disease. Many factors play into this disparity, including having fewer social and economic resources, having cancers that grow faster and are harder to treat, and not getting prompt follow up care. To support this population, DBCC has a Planting the S.E.E.D. program which highlights survivorship, education, and early detection to women of color. DBCC has increased its efforts to improve access to screenings, provide breast health education, and transportation services to African American women in need. When individuals are in need of a mammogram, DBCC navigates uninsured and underinsured Delawareans to Screening for Life, theDelaware Health Insurance Marketplace, and other local resources to cover the cost of preventative health screenings and cancer treatment. Additionally, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition operates the Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) van through a contract with the Delaware Division of Public Health, which travels to various locations statewide to provide on-site digital mammography. To schedule a mammogram, please call 1-888-672-9647.
The DBCC will offer family health history trees (pictured below) at no charge on their website: www.debreastcancer.org/bhm. They will also provide handouts at all outreach and networking events during the month of February. The trees allow people to fill in information on their relatives dating back three generations and incorporate data on their health conditions and age of diagnosis. Some health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure, can be passed from a parent to a child. Knowing what conditions run in a person’s family can help them stay as healthy as possible and understand their personal risk of developing an illness.
According to Chadeia Mitchell, Education and Outreach Program Director at the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, “We’re making Planting the S.E.E.D. to health and history easy. Visit our website to download the family tree, talked to your family about health conditions that run in your family, then complete a brief survey to let us know you participated. Just for participating, you’ll get entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card. You can bring the tree with you to your next doctor’s appointment to talk about risk factors and preventative screenings that are right for you.”
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is a 501(c)(3) organization offering statewide programs and services of education, outreach, and early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Its mission is to create a community where every person diagnosed with breast cancer is a survivor, and fear and doubt are replaced with knowledge and hope.
Headquartered in Wilmington with offices in Sussex and Kent Counties, DBCC’s programs reach diverse communities to deliver messages that address their unique concerns about breast cancer and early detection. Recognizing the barriers of language, culture, and economics, DBCC trains community advocates to educate and encourage women to take responsibility for breast health. DBCC helps women with low incomes or those with little or no insurance to receive free or reduced-cost care.
DBCC also supports the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s advocacy efforts to end breast cancer. All funds raised for DBCC support programs in Delaware and the neighboring areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.
For more information about the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, call 866-312-DBCC (3222) or visit the website at www.debreastcancer.org.