New Jersey Thinking Pink

Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Researchers have been focusing on two growing problems: breast cancer is striking more womyn under 40 and more African-American womyn.

According to the Women’s Circle of Health Study, funded by The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, breast cancer is affecting young black womyn more aggressively and often than white womyn (The Record).  As a result, 2,400 Jersey natives have joined the study to try to find a reason.

According to Karen Pawlish, of the New Jersey Department of Health and Social Services, “African-American women are 70% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women.” The National Cancer Institute of NJ provided $19.6 million to fund four separate regional studies, resulting in this study being the largest of its kind. Diet, obesity, and rare cases of breast cancer will be evaluated throughout the study. “The impact of obesity on breast cancer risk among African-American women is not well- known,” according to Dr. Elisa V. Bandera of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Fifty-two percent of the African- American womyn, with breast cancer, in the current study are obese, in contrast with 26% of Whites. 

 In addition to the growing racial divide, healthcare professionals in NJ have noticed a rise in cases among womyn in the 20s and 30s. Reasons for this increase are also unknown. Researchers are hypothesizing that it may be related to diet, use of birth control pills, being overweight, or having a “high estrogen environment.”  In NJ, 340 out of 6,750 womyn diagnosed with breast cancer are under the age of 40.  Yearly, 250,000 womyn develop breast cancer nationwide.

Helpful tips:

  • Womyn in early 20s- Conduct self breast exams monthly. Report any breast changes to a health professional right away.
  • Womyn (20- 30s)- Receive clinical breast exam, every 3 years.
  • Womyn (40 yrs and older)- Receive mammograms, every 1-2 years.

(Adapted from cancer.gov, cancer. org)

For more information and to get involved, visit sites listed below:

komen.org (Susan G. Komen for the Cure)

thebreastcancersite.com (Locations of breast cancer walks in/around your town)

sncnj.org (Sisters Network of Central New Jersey)

cinj.org (Cancer Institute of New Jersey)

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