Lest we forget, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
If you are healthy today, congratulations however, there is no guarantee you will maintain good health without adequate insurance coverage. This is principal and principle in the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as Obamacare, paying homage to the White House administration that created access to health insurance that more than 20,000,000 Americans will lose if the ACA is eradicated. If you are one of the 20,000,000 million insured, what will happen to you without affordable healthcare insurance? The answer is horrifying.
Central to efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act is the high incidence of breast cancer among African American women—many women discover a late stage diagnosis that could have been thwarted with early detection. Early detection through mammograms, covered under the ACA. Make no mistake, significant progress has been made in the discovery, care, and treatment of breast cancer since the ACA became law. However, given vehement political attacks and dogged determination by adversaries, hard pressed to strike down the ACA, women and men, diagnosed with breast cancer will hang in the balance: access to affordable healthcare in the United States is imperil.
The National Black Leadership Commission on Health, Inc, referred to as Black Health places a spotlight on two Breast Cancer survivors with remarkable stories of resilience–
Thirty years ago, Jackie Pugh Mungo was given a breast cancer diagnosis—she has since lived cancer free for decades. Her cousin, Czarina (pronounced Serena) Lynell, is a thirty-something-year-old wife and mother living with breast cancer. Czarina has written a book chronicling her experience, disclosing the facets of her journey with the disease.
Jackie has always been an engaged community advocate since her time with American Cancer Society. Active among a sisterhood centered on improving health outcomes within the African American community, her allegiance remains intact. Down through the years Jackie has been an effective stalwart to an untold number of cancer survivors; present day, she works in an administrative capacity at a well known church, known for its support of: families in crisis, the incarcerated, food despair, homelessness and under-employment. Her life’s course bears a mirror reflection of what is more common than not–multiple health disparities exacerbated by mental anguish–wreaking an emotional toll that can ignite otherwise dormant carcinogens within the body. In other words, intense stress can lead to cancer; it is a proven fact, https://bit.ly/35cvafl.
Jackie explains, “As I reflect on being a breast cancer survivor for over 30 years, it has become more than a passion to educate women on the importance of breast self examinations as well as yearly mammograms. I am keenly aware that cancer can be a terrifying experience and would not wish that anyone faces cancer alone. I am available to share my story and to let women know that a diagnosis is not a death sentence. Since being diagnosed I have started a nonprofit, The Healing Institute Global Network, and make it my mission to help anyone that I can.”
Jackie Mungo is a minister, mother, grandmother and a passionate educator and activist in the fight against cancer. She is the former Health Programs Manager for African-American Outreach with the American Cancer Society and a 30-year breast cancer survivor!
Czarina Lynell is a mental health advocate and a breast cancer survivor—a wife and mother of three. Based in a Dallas (TX) suburb, she fearlessly faces life’s journey and struggles with the acronym S.A.A.D., which has become a rallying cry to address what she describes as the Woman Syndrome: Stress, Anger, Anxiety, and Depression. Czarina uses the SAAD approach to: encourage, inspire and motivate others who are facing similar obstacles. She has chronicled her life’s course in “Finding Czarinaty—The Journey to Peace through Cancer & Chaos,” ISBN 978-1-7349212-0-5.
Czarina explains, “The world is hurting. We are a hurting generation, suffering inner turmoil that has caused many of us to suffer health issues physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many of us think we have to be strong. We aspire to be the high-producing, money making, food preparing picture of the modern day virtuous woman (Proverbs 31). I wrote my memoir for them, these many women, like me, who have spent a lifetime painting a picture of perfection while silently suffering.
Black Health has a vested interest in persons affected by a breast cancer diagnosis. We invite others to share their stories via email, send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Although Black and White women get breast cancer at almost the same rates, Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women. Black women are also more likely to develop more aggressive forms of breast cancer. Despite this, Black women often get fewer breast cancer tests, also known as mammograms, and Black women often get their first mammogram later in life than White women. Because Black women are considered to be at high risk for breast cancer, every Black woman should visit their doctor for a breast cancer risk assessment by age 30. Healthy lifestyle choices—diets with lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise, and avoiding all tobacco (including electronic cigarettes/vapes)—are all important in preventing all types of cancer and help live a healthier, happier life.
C. Virginia Fields, President and CEO