Sisters Network® Inc. Continues to Raise Awareness in the Community

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Together We Can Make a Difference!  Join the 8th Annual Stop the Silence 5K

By d-mars.com News provider

Karen Eubanks Jackson, founder of Sisters Network® Inc.

Since founding Sisters Network® Inc. (SNI) in 1994, Karen Eubanks Jackson has been at the forefront of the nation’s only African-American breast cancer survivorship organization.  SNI is a relevant organization in the Houston community and around the nation, raising awareness about breast cancer and the disease’s impact on African-American women.  More than just an organization, SNI is a movement to help ensure that African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer receive the support and quality medical care that they need and deserve.  SNI is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community.  One of the ways that the organization raises awareness is through their Annual Stop the Silence 5K.  This highly attended event brings survivors, supporters, and the community together to help make a difference.

Jackson, also a breast cancer survivor and CEO of SNI, uses her true life’s mission to educate, empower, and support the African-American woman’s breast cancer movement.  Under her direction, the organization has implemented nationally recognized outreach initiatives.  With over 40 affiliate chapters of SNI, they are able to provide support to African-American women across this nation.  SNI continues to reach the target group of African-American women around the nation with the help of partners and affiliate chapters.  SNI is a safe haven and the voice in the African-American women’s fight against breast cancer.

Sisters Network® Inc.’s Programs Include

  • Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP)
  • Teens 4 Pink (T4P)
  • The Young Sisters Initiative: A Guide to a Better You
  • Gift for Life Block Walk®
  • Pink Ribbon Awareness Initiative

American Cancer Society®‎ Breast Cancer Facts

 Deaths

Karen Eubanks Jackson with community leaders and political leaders at the Annual Stop the Silence 5K.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among black women, surpassed only by lung cancer. An estimated 6,310 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among black women in 2016. Breast cancer death rates among black women increased from 1975 to 1991, but declined thereafter as a result of improvements in both early detection and treatment. Prior to the mid-1980s, breast cancer death rates for white and black women were similar. However, a larger increase in black women from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, followed by a slower decline, has resulted in a widening disparity. Since 1990, breast cancer death rates dropped 23% in black women compared to a 37% drop in white women.  As a result, breast cancer death rates in the most recent time period (2008-2012) are 42% higher in black women compared to white women, despite similar incidence rates. Higher death rates among black women likely reflects a combination of factors, including differences in stage at diagnosis, obesity and comorbidities, and tumor characteristics, as well as access, adherence, and response to high-quality cancer treatment.

Survival and Stage Distribution

The overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer diagnosed in 2005-2011 was 80% for black women compared to 91% for white women.  This difference can be attributed to both later stage at detection and poorer stage-specific survival among black women. Only about half (52%) of breast cancers in black women are diagnosed at a local stage, compared to 63% in white women.  Later stage at diagnosis among black women has been largely attributed to lower frequency of and longer intervals between mammograms, and lack of timely follow-up of abnormal results.  Lower stage-specific survival has been explained in part by unequal access to and receipt of prompt, high-quality treatment among black women compared to white women.

Participants and supporters at Annual Stop the Silence 5K.

There is also evidence that aggressive tumor characteristics are more common in breast cancers diagnosed in black women than other racial/ethnic groups.  For example, 22% of breast cancers in black women are referred to as triple negative (ER-, PR-, and HER2-) compared to 10-12% of those among women of other races/ethnicities in the US.  These proportions are even higher among premenopausal black breast cancer patients.  Triple negative breast cancers are more aggressive and have poorer prognosis, in part because there are currently no targeted therapies for these tumors.  Some studies suggest black women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer as a result of African ancestry, while others find the cause to be related more to certain behavioral risk factors, such as reproductive patterns that are relatively more common in black women (including giving birth to more than one child, early age at first pregnancy, and lower rates of breastfeeding).

Prevention

All women can help reduce their risk of breast cancer by avoiding weight gain and obesity (for postmenopausal breast cancer), engaging in regular physical activity, and minimizing alcohol intake. Women should consider the increased risk of breast cancer associated with combined estrogen and progestin hormone therapy use when evaluating treatment options for menopausal symptoms. In addition, recent research indicates that long-term, heavy smoking may also increase breast cancer risk, particularly among women who start smoking before their first pregnancy.

Karen Eubanks Jackson accepting donation at Annual Stop the Silence 5K.

Jackson is a recognized breast cancer expert, nationally and internationally.  She is highly sought after to share her perspective on the state of breast cancer in the African American community. She has been a featured speaker at the U.S. Army’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center in Germany, the National Congressional Black Caucus and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as other organizations. Jackson has been featured in numerous national newspapers, magazines, television, radio programs and Internet media outlets, inclusive of the Huffington Report, Essence, New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Ebony, Web MD, Black Enterprise, Breast Cancer Wellness, Tom Joyner Morning Show and numerous local media outlets. Jackson is a published co-author of several works.   Jackson is a visionary and leader in the African-American breast cancer movement.

Visit the American Cancer Society® at www.cancer.org for more facts on breast cancer.  To help Sisters Network® Inc. continue to raise awareness and to see how you can participate in the 8th Annual Stop the Silence 5K on April 8, 2017, please visit www.sistersnetworkinc.org.

 

 

 

 

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