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.
Ke'Ke: Do you have any advice for those who are currently battling breast cancer?
Dr. Colbert: Be encouraged. The research, science, and funding that is currently underway is even more powerful that when I was diagnosed. There is life after breast cancer and those who are unfortunately diagnosed must keep a positive attitude while following doctor’s orders. Diet, exercise, and of course a heart that is centered on God goes a long way. Keep pushing and fighting!
Ke'Ke: Eleven years in remission is magnificent, congratulations. Post-life after treatment: Did you experience any inabilities OR challenging results after being cured?
Dr. Colbert: Thank you! It is indeed a great feeling but yes, there have been some challenges. Some of those challenges like my hot flashes can at times drive me crazy and during other times, it reminds me of how grateful I should be that I am here to tell my story to encourage, uplift, and hopefully helps someone with early detection and survivorship. Along those same lines, I still suffer with neuropathy in my arms, fingers, and feet- common side effects of chemo for many. Some days it can be challenging but in the big scheme of things- I am here and what I know for sure, is that I survived to make a difference.
Ke'Ke: What are some things you have incorporated into your lifestyle post breast cancer that has helped you have a fresh outlook or even feel better?
Dr. Colbert: There are so many things, however, the key ones are greater gratitude. It’s a gamechanger, always Sipping PositiviTEA, reduction of sugar, a balanced diet, and keeping stress to a minimum. I really try to control my controllables. After all, I fought and won!
For more information on Dr. Jacque Colbert please visit:
Social Media: Instagram @DrJacqueColbert @SippingPositiviTea