PHILADELPHIA, October 3, 2023 – Bebashi, a leading non-profit agency dedicated to improving the health and wellness of underserved communities, is raising concern about the disproportionately high number of breast cancer cases in Black and Brown communities in Philadelphia and appealing for additional assistance to help address the urgent need.
According to the American Cancer Society, Black women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate compared to women of other racial and ethnic groups in the United States.They are also more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and at more advanced stages.
“Breast cancer is a public health concern that affects people across the globe,” said Bebashi Executive Director Sebrina Tate. “Still, research shows that Black and Brown communities face a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer, coupled with higher mortality rates, compared to other racial and ethnic groups.”
According to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if found early. In the United States, the breast cancer death rate is approximately 40% higher in Black women compared to white women. Minority women are also less likely to undergo regular mammography screening, leading to delayed detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. This is because women in underserved communities are far more likely to be uninsured; preventing them from seeking routine check ups and examinations.
The state of Pennsylvania has taken a huge step in breast health, thanks to recent legislation that requires insurance companies to cover preventive breast and ovarian cancer screenings for high-risk women at no cost. Tate comments, “while we may begin to see more women taking preventative measures with their breast health, the breast cancer screening bill serves primarily those who are at high-risk and we know that only 5–10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary. This still leaves a large part of the population without access to the necessary breast health care.”
While the breast health disparity is directly linked to limited access to quality healthcare, inadequate breast health education, and social and economic barriers, little has been done to support Black and Brown women with breast health issues, or provide assistance to organizations like Bebashi that aim to provide comprehensive health services and empower individuals through knowledge.
“Bebashi is deeply committed to combating this disparity and fostering positive change in breast health outcomes within the Black and Brown community,” Tate explained. “Still, we recognize the critical role that funding and support plays in addressing these disparities effectively. That is why we are appealing to the public to support us as we strive to eliminate barriers and improve early detection and treatment rates.”
Bebashi has partnered with Temple Fox Chase Mobile Unit for a Breast Health Day. This initiative will highlight Bebashi’s re-introduction to the breast health space and offer breast screening prescriptions, mammograms, breast exams and education on breast health. It all takes place on Friday, October 20, 2023 at Community Council (4900 Wyalusing Avenue Philadelphia, PA. 19131). This event is created for Black and Brown women in Philadelphia, especially those who do not have the insurance to cover these exams.
Tate said by working together, the public can overcome the barriers that contribute to breast cancer disparities and create a future where equitable breast health outcomes are realized for all individuals, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.
For more information about Bebashi’s efforts to address breast health issues in the Black and Brown community and ways to support their mission, please visit bebashi.org or contact the nonprofit at (215) 769-3561.
About Bebashi – Transition to Hope
Bebashi, Transition to Hope, is a community-based organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations in the greater Philadelphia area. Founded in 1985, Bebashi offers a wide range of comprehensive services, including health education, prevention, access to care, nutritional support, and advocacy.
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