She’s In A Pod is a podcast and community that is devoted to building real connections with young women through honest and authentic conversations. They aim to create safe spaces for young women for the purposes of growth, education, and inspiration.
To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Black History Month, She’s In A Pod have collaborated with Prevent Breast Cancer to make the disease a topic of conversation and raise awareness of the fact anyone, of any race, can develop the disease.
Co-creators; Bianca (27), Sadè (25) and Jennifer (25), spoke with Prevent Breast Cancer about their experience with the disease as young black women, how their lives have been affected by breast cancer, and why they are motivated to raise awareness in their communities.
Why is Prevent Breast Cancer important to you?
As young Black women, partnering with the only charity in the UK that actually works on preventing the disease is a big deal to us. I lost my mum to metastatic breast cancer last year – she was just 53. Before then I knew little about the disease or what type of lifestyle myself and loved ones need to live in order to lessen our chances of developing breast cancer.
Our aim for this month is to bring awareness of how black women can decrease their chances of developing the disease, and prevent it from getting to an advanced stage, and this charity is helping us to do just that! – Bianca, 27.
When I was around 17 years old I randomly found a lump in one of my breast. I never took it seriously or even bothered to check it. Perhaps because it wasn’t a conversation that was had in my household or something I had much knowledge of. Months later, I checked again, and the lump had gotten bigger! This is when I knew I had to get help and get checked out. When I arrived at the hospital, the breast cancer screening clinic, the fear that overcame me was overwhelming. ‘Why did I not check earlier?’, ‘What if it turns out to be cancerous’. So many thoughts came to my mind that morning. I got my screening done via a mammogram and it was confirmed that it was NOT a cancerous tumour. However, they did want to operate and take it out due to the size. I had something called a Fibroadenoma which is the most common type of benign breast tumour, and most don’t increase your risk of breast cancer. Due to this experience I made a vow to check myself more regularly and encourage others to do so too. – Jennifer, 25.
Why did you choose to support Prevent Breast Cancer?
We chose to support Prevent Breast Cancer because we believe in what they stand for as an organisation. We love the fact that they are forward thinking and are not only hoping to make changes in the present, but also for future generations. – Sadè, 25.
What advice would you give to black women like yourselves about breast cancer?
The first thing we’d say is, never believe you are and always will be exempt from the effects of the disease. Bianca never thought her mum would have been diagnosed with breast cancer, never mind eventually losing her battle to it 18 months later.
Have both feet in the realities of life, and use that as fuel to live a good and healthy lifestyle. Do your research, and most importantly, have the necessary conversations with your elders, your mums, aunties and grandmothers. We know these things are hardly ever spoken about in households like ours, so it’s our job to initiate the hard conversations so that we can help our loved ones in helping themselves to live long and healthy lives.
What would you say to anyone thinking of supporting the charity?
I would encourage everyone to donate as much as their comfortable with to this charity and educate one another as much as possible.
I was once naive about the importance of checking until I experienced my scare. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed the better the outcome, so make sure you know the signs and symptoms. Charities such as Prevent Breast Cancer aids to predict and diagnose early and we too can play a part in this. Check out their shop and online resources too! – Jennifer, 25.
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