By Samjah Iman
Breast Cancer – two words that give even the strongest person an eerie feeling, and rightfully so. For these words describe a disease that affects one in eight women and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women (nationalbreastcancer.org). Each year 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die (nationalbreastcancer.org). While these numbers are quite alarming and downright frightening, we do have the power to change them.
Just ask 41-year-old breast cancer survivor, Chris-Tia Donaldson who was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 36. “I discovered a lump in my breast while showering which I proceeded to ignore for close to 3 months. After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and 33 rounds of radiation – I am now cancer free,” she says.
The Thank God It’s Natural (TGIN) hair and skin care company owner stresses that early detection and her economic status played a major roles in her overcoming this disease. During an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Chris-Tia noted that if she had not acted on the lump she felt in her breast, and if she didn’t have the means to get prompt, proper care after she discovered her lump, she may not have survived.
Chris-Tia was able to afford prime help from the best doctors in Chicago. She stressed that during her treatment, she was grateful she had the financial means to get her to and from the doctor, to get her medicine, to take time away from work, and to even pay to park at the doctor. However, some people (mostly women of color) who are diagnosed with any type of cancer unfortunately lack the financial means and proper healthcare they need to defeat this disease. Which often time results in their demise.
Noticing this economic disparity when it comes to proper treatment for breast cancer, Chris-Tia uses her success to advocate for women who have been diagnosed with cancer but can’t afford the transportation, child care, or time away from their employment through her Thank God It’s Natural Foundation.
Check out Chris-Tia’s hair company and follow her breast cancer surviving journey at www.thankgoditsnatural.com. Also, discover five things below that you can do to help prevent breast cancer.
Herbal regimen – According to everydayhealth.com, scientists have found that some herbs and spices contain phytochemicals which stimulate the immune system and help keep cancer at bay.
Go to the doctor regularly – Regular checkups are key when it comes to catching cancer early. The earlier you catch the disease, the more likely you will defeat it.
Self-examination – Always monitor your breasts and give yourself self-examinations to make sure everything is intact. If you notice a sudden change in your breasts, contact your doctor immediately.
Maintain a healthy weight – Make exercising and healthy eating your lifestyle. Most vegetables and some fruits are made up of cancer fighting agents. Stay away from processed and fast foods. These foods tend to contain unhealthy elements that can contribute to the formulation of cancer cells in your body.
For more information, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org. Also, if you’re interested in learning more about breast cancer as it relates to women of color or eager to participate in local events that are geared toward women of color who have been affected by this disease, check out Sista Strut New Orleans or The Louisiana Coalition of African-American Breast Cancer Survivors (LCAABCS) below.
“Sista Strut was started in Detroit about 20 years ago to raise awareness for the fact that women of color have a higher death rate from breast cancer than other demographics. The best way to fight that is early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment. We use our urban radio stations and run a 3-month campaign to educate our listeners, as well as support and celebrate survivors and their families. We currently have 14 Sista Strut events across the US.” – Candace Price of iheart Media.
The next Sista Strut will be held March 20, 2019, 8:00 a.m., at Woldenberg Park in New Orleans, LA. For more information regarding this event or the organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
LCAABCS was founded by cancer survivor Julia B. Moore of Baton Rouge, LA. The purpose of this organization is to increase breast cancer prevention, awareness, and maintenance. LCAABCS will host their Annual Musical Matinee Event, Cancer Survivors Celebrating Survivorship…Down By The Riverside, on Saturday, November 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The matinee will be held at the Manship Theater located in the Shaw Arts Center on 100 Lafayette Street in Baton Rouge, LA. For more info on this event or organization visit their Facebook page.
This article originally appeared in the New Orleans Data News Weekly.