According to the CDC, 1 out of 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive Breast Cancer over the course of her lifetime. It is estimated 268,600 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 alone. While African American women are not the leading race with diagnosed Breast Cancer incidents, they are leading in morality rates. 31% of women that die each year from Breast Cancer are African American, 11 Year Breast Cancer survivor Dr. Jacque Colbert is apart of the club of women that survived Breast Cancer. After surviving the bad hand she was dealt, Dr. Colbert wanted to do her part to help others. Dr. Colbert became an advocate for Breast Cancer patients and wanted to understand how she could assist with prevention.
Research shows Breast Cancer is 100% curable if detected early. Dr. Colbert has worked with the Department of Defense on research studies and is also taking matters into her own hands. Dr. Colbert has pledged to save lives by raising funds for mammograms and recently kicked off her inaugural campaign with a Pink & Black – A Breast Cancer Fundraising Fashion Gala. 100% of the proceeds was donated to The Rose Non-Profit organization which has served nearly 500,000 patients and is now the leading nonprofit breast health care organization in southeast Texas.
We got a chance to speak with Dr. Jacque Colbert in an exclusive interview.
Ke'Ke: Why do you think there are not enough women getting mammograms per year?
Dr. Colbert: For the most part, I believe it is out of fear and oftentimes financial support. Although we live in the world’s most powerful country, we still have so many gaps from an educational and socioeconomic perspective as it relates to providing the best healthcare. Isn’t that a shame?
Ke'Ke: What age should women start receiving mammograms?
Dr. Colbert: I would say it depends- Naturally, there are guidelines from the American Cancer Society. These categories consist of women at an average risk for breast cancer who may not have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as in a BRCA gene), and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.
Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.
Ke'Ke: Tell us about some of your initiatives in the community to improve the number of women receiving mammogram?
Dr. Colbert: The main things that I have done is to provide education on a consistent basis. I am very active during breast cancer awareness month in education and awareness as well as fundraising. In a like manner I also include a breast cancer awareness card and how to guide for breast exams in all of my Sipping PositiviTEA boxes. That is done year round.