The late Mildred Leigh-Gold was known as the BREAST HEALTH LADY. She was the first local advocate and motivational speaker to talk openly about breast cancer and its impact in the African American community. Joyce White was another powerful communicator about breast cancer. She and Mildred Leigh-Gold – African American Queens – SHARED THEIR STORIES when many kept the ravages of the disease to themselves. Their stories helped others learn about the disease, the importance of early detection, and its treatment options. We needed to know the challenges and successes around breast cancer from a Black perspective. In the process, they taught ALL OF US how to be courageous and unashamed.
While Ms. Leigh-Gold and Ms. White spoke primarily to women, we know that men also get breast cancer. October is BREAST HEALTH MONTH and a time to remember that breast cancer is not a respecter of gender nor socio-economic status. But if found early, it is highly treatable and, in some cases, can even be cured. MONTHLY SELF-EXAMS – looking for changes in size or density, or the presence of swelling or lumps – is beneficial for people of all genders. If you find something, say something! Contact a healthcare professional right away. And starting on your 40th birthday, give yourself the gift of an ANNUAL MAMMOGRAM.
We all know cancer survivors today who are living strong, quality lives – mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, staffers, and colleagues. We APPLAUD EACH OF YOU who have been able to ring the cancer completion bell that signifies you’re on your way, again.
Today we celebrate Terri, a former MCJ staffer, who decided to be tested after an October advertising blast a couple of years ago. She tested positive but got the help she needed without delay. THE GOOD NEWS: Terri is doing well! She has a whole new life, a healthy life. She celebrates joy, every day! And we celebrate her. And we celebrate you!
The ALL OF US RESEARCH PROGRAM knows that success stories like Terri’s were made possible by research. Research discoveries have advanced clinical practice in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. To continue moving forward, we need research that includes EVERYONE – especially those who have been left out in the past. Because some breast cancers are hereditary, having genetic information from many different people is essential. Participants in the All of Us Research Program can choose to see their personal genetic results, including their risk for diseases like breast cancer, for FREE.
So, BE ONE IN A MILLION… ENROLL TODAY. Visit JoinAllofUs.org/MKE or CALL (414) 955-2689. See the pink breast cancer ad in this issue to learn more.