COVID-19 has lifted the veil on existing inequities within our society, particularly for Black women affected by breast cancer. To address the needs of this specific group, The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers at Women’s College Hospital, in partnership with The Olive Branch of Hope (TOBOH) and four co-creators, developed a resource hub with Black women, for Black women affected by breast cancer.
Led by Dr. Aisha Lofters, chair of implementation science at The Centre, this resource hub is intended to bridge the knowledge and awareness gap around options for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, while highlighting important areas for further research and action in the Canadian context.
Misogynoir, a unique form of misogyny and anti-Black racism, plays a role in how Black women experience and interact with the healthcare system. The dominance of white and pink breast imagery, lack of melanated skin representation, and absence of specific research and resources can perpetuate the erasure of Black women’s experiences.
To address this ongoing issue, the project team took particular care to provide an extensive list of resources tailored specifically to the Black community. The hub features all Black imagery as well as videos from Black women who are leaders in the field. Every Breast Counts was created to help combat misogynoir and ensure Black women have a safe and inclusive space to feel seen, heard, included and represented.
The Centre, the four co-creators and TOBOH took particular care to ensure that the site’s content is guided by those with lived experience. By creating a hub for accurate, evidence-based and community-relevant cancer information, the project team is hoping to reach a diverse community of historically overlooked and underserved Black patients affected by breast cancer.
“We launched this site because we recognize how extremely important it is for women to feel seen when going through the breast cancer journey,” says Dr. Lofters. “We wanted to create a resource specific to Black women who have too often been left out of previous breast cancer initiatives in Canada. We hope this hub can empower Black women across the country.”
Click here to visit the resource hub.
This project is funded by CanIMPACT, which is funded through a CIHR team grant.
Four co-creators: Dawn Barker, Debbie Pottinger, Shireen Spencer & Talina Higgins.