Mary J. Blige and other women touched by breast cancer talk importance of screening

The nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer said in an interview with “Good Morning America” that highlighting the illness is important to her because of the racial disparity in breast cancer death rates.

Higher death rates from the disease for Black women are due to several factors, according to the American Cancer Society’s biennial update on female breast cancer statistics in the U.S.

Some include “later stage at diagnosis and other unfavorable tumor characteristics, higher prevalence of obesity and comorbidities, as well as less access to timely and high‐quality prevention, early detection, and treatment services.”

Blige partnered with the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), RAD-AID and Hologic, Inc. for the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign in hopes of giving women necessary information about breast cancer screening and why it’s so important.

Women who have battled the disease or who are currently battling the disease are also sharing more about their cancer journeys in the campaign.

The importance of getting screened: ‘Do it even when you’re scared’

Blige said she feels “a lot of fears and barriers” affect whether or not a woman will prioritize getting screened. After losing an aunt to breast cancer, the singer says she now believes a lack of awareness toward screening played
a role in her loved one’s battle with cancer.

“I believe if she had this information that she would be here today — the importance of a mammogram,” the singer said. “When we were growing up, no one spoke about a mammogram, breast cancer — anything like that.”

The singer recalled having many fears going into her first mammogram after losing her aunt and wondering whether it was going to hurt or if she was going to be diagnosed.

“Once I went into the office and went to the procedure, I realized that it was nothing to it,” she said. “It wasn’t painful, it was just a little discomfort on each breast for a second or two, and then it was over.”

She emphasized how she received early results following her Genius 3D Mammography exam and even called the screening “enlightening.” She also said it made her want to know more about her health.

Kimberly Wortham-Macon, a mother of three, is fighting breast cancer and is featured in the campaign along with Blige. She is also adamant about emphasizing the importance of getting checked.

She said she had been considering putting off her mammogram because of the pandemic but quickly took action and went in for a screening after feeling a lump in her right breast. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July at the age of 40.

PHOTO: Kimberly Wortham-Macon opened up on her battle with breast cancer for the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign.

Kimberly Wortham-Macon

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Almost half of British women do not self-examine for breast cancer

Almost half of women do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs of breast cancer, and one in 10 never do so, a survey has revealed.

a woman wearing a white shirt: Photograph: Stuart Pearce/Alamy

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Stuart Pearce/Alamy

Women who do not look for changes in their breasts should get in the habit of examining them, as early detection of lumps and other symptoms could save their life, experts say.

In a representative sample of 1,086 British women, 47% said that they did not regularly check their breasts for any lumps or changes to their appearance, which may indicate that cancer is present.

Specialists in breast cancer said the findings were “a cause for deep concern”, as most cases of the disease are identified when a woman has spotted a change and gone for a medical examination.

“It’s worrying that almost half of women don’t check their breasts regularly for new or unusual changes”, said Lady Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now.

Asked why they did not look out for changes, 46% of those who had not been diagnosed with breast cancer said they “forget” to do so. Others cited embarrassment or a desire not to bother their GP. “[That] highlights the urgent need to engage women with the importance of regularly checking their breasts, as an action that could ultimately save their life,” added Morgan.

a woman wearing a white shirt: Specialists say women should examine the entire surface of their breasts, armpits and as far up as the collarbone.

© Photograph: Stuart Pearce/Alamy
Specialists say women should examine the entire surface of their breasts, armpits and as far up as the collarbone.

Related: Charity says nearly 1m women missed breast cancer check in pandemic

A lump is the most common change that may suggest a cancer. But other symptoms include nipple discharge, dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast, the breast looking red or inflamed, and swelling in the upper chest or armpit.

Morgan reassured women that most changes turn out not to be evidence of breast cancer. “[However], when it is, a woman noticing a potential symptom and getting this checked by the GP are often the first steps that lead to diagnosis. Early diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment, which can prevent women from dying from the disease, meaning the importance of regular breast-checking cannot be underestimated.”

Women should make checking their breasts a part of their routine, for example when they are in the shower or when putting on moisturiser, said Manveet Basra, Breast Cancer Now’s head of public health and wellbeing. Examination should include all of the breast, armpits and as far up as the collarbone, she added.

Around 55,000 women and 370 men a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK. The disease claims the lives of 11,500 women and 55 men every year.

Dr Rebecca Lewis, a breast surgeon in London and secretary of the Doctors’ Association UK, said: “The survey from Breast Cancer Now showing that 47% of women do not check their breasts regularly is worrying, but echoes in my experience what we see in breast clinic.

“All women should be

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Greenwich-based Breast Cancer Alliance raises over $900,000 with virtual fashion show

Central Greenwich

Every October to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Greenwich-based Breast Cancer Alliance packs the Hyatt Regency hotel in Old Greenwich for a fundraising fashion show with “models of inspiration” who walk the runway as funds are raised to fight cancer.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCA fundraiser went virtual on Oct. 19, and organizers said it was still “meaningful, fun and fashionable.”

It featured remarks from actress Kate Walsh, best known for her roles on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” and the models of inspiration still dazzled on the runway for the fashion show, which was filmed in advance at Richards on Greenwich Avenue.

The models were 12 “strong and radiant” breast cancer survivors who showed off Richards “stunning fall collection,” organizers said. For the part of the event with Walsh, the actress interviewed Reshma Gopaldas, a breast cancer survivor who talked about her mother’s battle with the disease and how “the generosity of donors directly improves lives.”

More than $900,000 was raised to fund the 2021 grants from the BCA, which go toward fund training in cutting-edge surgical techniques, research into new treatments and to make sure underserved communities have access to mammagrams and other detection services.

There was also a memorial tribute to celebrate BCA co-founder and past president Lucy Day, who passed away earlier this year. Her “unflagging commitment to finding the cure” was remembered by all, the organizers said. Scott Mitchell, owner of Richards and a longtime BCA supporter, opened up the live auction with

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Wedding Photo Featuring A Bridesmaid Pumping Breast Milk Goes Viral

One best-friend duo is coming together to normalize breastfeeding in an unlikely scenario. At Alabama nurse Rachael Downs’s wedding, her matron-of-honor Allison Hepler took a moment to pump breast milk, but they never anticipated that the moment would garner so much attention.

Hepler grabbed her pump during some downtime between wedding photos, but when it was the bridesmaids’ turn, she wasn’t quite finished. Florida-based photographer Amber Fletcher and Down decided it would be epic to shoot some pictures while Hepler finished pumping.

“I always do a photo like the Bridesmaids movie cover, so this seemed like the perfect time to utilize not only that photo in a humorous way but to show the realness of the specific day,” Fletcher told Parents Magazine. “In turn, it brought light to what a day looks like for a bridesmaid who is currently breastfeeding/pumping.”

The photo from the October 2019 wedding features Down in her white wedding gown surrounded by her five bridesmaids all holding bouquets — except for Hepler, who’s holding her pumping machine. 

While the photo was taken last year, Fletcher recently shared the empowering picture on Facebook writing, “‘It’s time for the bridesmaid photos!’ ‘I’m still pumping’ ‘Even better’”

 Amber Fletcher Photography

And the response to the photo was overwhelmingly positive. The post has since gone viral, with almost 6,000 likes and over 2,000 comments on Facebook in support of the mom and the understanding bride.

“I love this. Support for the bride by being present and support for the bridesmaid by not making a fuss over her having to pump,” one user wrote. Another one commented, “This bride is absolutely fantastic. What a treasure of a friend! I see way too many stories in my breastfeeding groups about bridezillas throwing fits over the party leaving for any reason or “inconveniencing” the wedding in any way.”

“It has been amazing to read through the comments and see how many other women relate to going through the same thing or are able to joke about possibly going through that in an upcoming wedding,” says Fletcher.

Source Article

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Women diagnosed with breast cancer amid COVID-19 stress importance of mammograms

Jennifer Gordon, Tanisha Worthy and Jennifer Grannis shared their stories on “The View” Thursday about how they almost delayed their annual mammograms due to fears of contracting COVID-19 during their appointments. They each ultimately went to their appointments, and those decisions might’ve saved their lives, as they were diagnosed with breast cancer.

PHOTO: Jennifer Gordon joins "The View" on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 to share her breast cancer story.

Jennifer Gordon joins “The View” on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 to share her breast cancer story.

“Things were really crazy,” said Jennifer Gordon, a 41-year-old mother of two children. “My husband and I were working from home. We have a 3- and 5-year-old. We were trying to keep busy while we did our jobs.”

Gordon had initially contemplated skipping her mammogram. But she had promised her good friend Summur Shaikh, a producer for “The View” who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, that she would get one and therefore decided to go on Aug. 27. She was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.

Gordon said she “just kept thinking, ‘Why me?’ And what was going to happen next.”

After her diagnosis, Gordon underwent a successful double mastectomy and is now cancer-free.

“The morning of my surgery, my son told me to be brave and I focused on those words all morning, and as they rolled me in for surgery, it’s what got me through,” she said.

“I would never in a million years let my kids skip one of their doctors’ appointments and I’m always encouraging my husband to make his doctors’ appointments, so why was I so willing to skip mine?” Gordon added. “All it takes is putting yourself and your health first for 10 minutes every year.”

Worthy, 48, had been given the all-clear after a mammogram in December 2019. But a month later, in January 2020, she came across a lump on her breast when she accidentally brushed her hand across her chest.

“I was hesitant to go to the doctor due to COVID, but it was important that I determine what was going on,” Worthy said. “I scheduled the appointment and on June 19th I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts.”

“I had to tell my boys,” she added. “That was the hardest conversation I had.”

Worthy made the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. In anticipation of the treatment’s side effects, she decided to shave her head.

“Now I’m embracing the new me until it grows back,” Worthy said.

“It’s extremely important to get your annual mammogram. It’s also very important to do self-examinations,” Worthy went

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Olivia Newton-John talks new foundation and shares advice to women fighting breast cancer

Olivia Newton-John continually uses her platform to advocate for cancer research and now she is taking it a step further with the launch of her new foundation.

The four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, who is currently battling breast cancer for the third time, launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation this month to fund research for treatments and therapies to cure cancer.

The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and again in 2013. She revealed in 2018 that the disease returned and metastasized to her spine.

In a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” the actress, 72, revealed she is “feeling really good” and spoke about what led her to launch this new charity.

“I feel really positive and very excited about bringing this foundation and a lot of knowledge to people, and funding research to find out lots of answers — to find kinder treatments for cancer,” she shared.

“The inspiration has been a long one because I’ve been on this cancer journey for 28 years,” she added. “I’m a thriver of three times going through this process.”

MORE: Olivia Newton-John gives optimistic update on breast cancer diagnosis

Having gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she said she now is interested in funding treatments that aren’t as taxing to the body. “I’ve always thought, ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create kinder therapies that help boost the body’s immune system instead of knocking us down?'” she said.

PHOTO: Olivia Newton-John is photographed at her California home. (ONJ Foundation)
PHOTO: Olivia Newton-John is photographed at her California home. (ONJ Foundation)

Newton-John is an outspoken advocate for plant medicine and says that’s largely due to the influence of her husband, John Easterling. She affectionately calls him “Amazon John” because he spent several years in the Amazon rain forest learning about this type of medicine.

“I’m very lucky that I have him in my corner, and teaching me about the plants and the herbs,” she said. “He grows cannabis for me and I take tinctures that have helped me greatly.”

Ongoing efforts are being made to research what role cannabis may play in the future. “While some like Newton-John find relief of cancer-related pain and nausea from cannabis, it has not clinically proven to be the best choice,” according to health expert Dr. Imran Ali, a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

Newton-John says she believes there is a significant lack of progress in research for these treatments.

“There are lots of ideas on how we can help people with cancer and treat cancer, but there’s been no real science behind the studies,” she explained. “So the idea is to raise money to fund the research on the other kinds of things that are kinder, including a lot of plant medicine.”

Newton-John is dedicating the foundation to all forms of cancer treatments — not just breast cancer research — because she dreams of one day “realizing a world beyond cancer.”

“That’s everything that drives me forward,” she said. “To think that we could help people to live in

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds women to get checked; Support Education Matters team | Letters

Mammograms save lives

Once again it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, like the great comic Lily Tomlin, I’m looking for intelligent life on the planet … or, more specifically, some meaning for my own personal experience with the disease.

It really gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when a woman tells me she got a mammogram because I brought the matter to her attention (sometimes I just bug the hell out of someone until she makes that doctor’s appointment) and once someone told to me that I saved her life. Terrific! That’s as good as it gets.

To all my sister survivors, I urge you to try to get at least one woman, who has not been attentive, to get a mammogram. Of course, I would suggest skipping the scare tactics … just not a good way to achieve your objective. And if you can muster enough physical and emotional stamina, you might find it rewarding to be an advocate for some beleaguered lady who just received the bad news.

And, if you can’t do that, no problem.

One disease does not fit all physically or emotionally, and it’s up to the individual as to what she can or cannot handle. The first article I ever did on this subject years ago emphasized that early detection via a mammogram wasn’t lucky, it was smart. Now, never getting a mammogram and never getting breast cancer is lucky — just like playing roulette.

The late singer/actress Nell Carter was once in a public service ad saying, “Girl, if you don’t get your breasts examined, you ought to get your head examined.” Whoever wrote that bit of philosophy was sooooo right. So, again, as I say every October: Stay well … stay vigilant … and stay alive.

Jeanette Kronick, North Bergen; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research advocate

Re-elect BOE incumbents

When Jersey City schools closed on March 16, I certainly did not expect to be here in early October proctoring Zoom sessions for my 6-year-old twins in between juggling work assignments. But here we are — in the middle of a world health crisis that has altered American lives in ways most of us found unimaginable only seven months ago.

It is easy under these circumstances to point fingers and find faults, but not to single out merits or give credit. But I write to you today to do just that.

Before COVID-19, I was, at best, mildly interested in our Board of Education and the inner workings of the Jersey City School District. With so much at stake, mildly interested was not going to cut it this year.

For the past seven months, I have forced myself to listen through each lengthy JCBOE meeting, gritting my teeth through the minutia, the time-consuming protocols; the unanswered and unanswerable questions; the frustration of parents and teachers alike; and the technical difficulties. I expected contentious interactions, animosity, finger-pointing and unworkability. What I heard was not that.

As I sit here, filling out my election ballot

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7 Reasons Why Women Undergo Breast Augmentation Surgeries

Breast Augmentation is one of the most undergone cosmetic surgery chosen by women. With the advent of modern medicine and efficiency and safety, we have achieved in surgery today, breast augmentation surgeries have increased many folds because the risks involved are minimal. Moreover, the implants used have also been upgraded. So if you have been contemplating about undergoing breast augmentation surgery for yourself, but you cannot evaluate a clear decision whether you should or not, I am here to help you through this process and state out common reasons why women undergo a breast augmentation surgery. So, without wasting any more time, let us dive right in.

Asymmetrical Breasts

The most common use of breast implants is to make your breasts symmetrical. Women usually not don’t have 100% symmetrical breasts, but usually, the difference is minimal. But in some cases when the difference is noticeable, augmenting of one breast through implants to match the other is the best solution out there.


One of the aftereffects of pregnancy is that the breasts lose their shape or their volume. Many women do not desire this big change in their body and opt for breast augmentation surgeries which helps them to achieve the shape or volume of the breasts they had earlier. Modern surgical procedures have made these operations very safe and more and more women have started to opt for it.


Some women have relatively small breasts. If a woman desires for bigger sized breasts, the safest way of achieving this result is to undergo a breast augmentation surgery. Even if you do not have small breasts you can still undergo this procedure if you desire your breasts to be a little bigger.


Many women achieve self-confidence when they are satisfied with their bodies. Having small breasts, for some women, maybe a source of low self-esteem and not feeling great or loving the body they have received. This is one of the most common reasons why women opt breast augmentation surgeries and achieve a breast size which suits their personality and they can feel good about themselves again and achieve self-confidence they need in life.


Some women do not have the desired shape of their breasts they wish. The breasts can become droopy and saggy which may not be a desired shape which is wanted by many women. To solve this problem, many women opt for breast augmentations or implants which correct the shape of their breasts and make them perky as much as possible.


Many women opt for implants to correct their body proportions. Undergoing a breast augmentation surgery, they can balance their body proportions to match their bust with their buttocks. Also, many women want to fit into their clothes perfectly and having a balanced body proportion helps in the process


When women exercise they might feel a loss of volume in their breasts because of loss of fats in their bodies. This is also a common reason why many physically fit females opt …

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