Shining a Light on Breast Cancer Awareness and Women of Color
As conversations about breast cancer are growing in importance, there’s something that often remains in the shadows: the intersection of Breast Cancer Awareness and Women of Color. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s crucial to shed light on the experiences and challenges faced by communities that are not always part of the mainstream dialogue.
Over the past two decades in the US, there has been a universal drop in mortality rates related to breast cancer, but there’s been an alarming rise in the incidence of breast cancer among African-American women. This statistic reflects a stark reality that needs our attention and action.
For this discussion, I am honored to be joined by Keneene Lewis, who brings her expertise, passion, and personal experience as a survivor to the conversation. Together, we aim to give voice to the experiences of Women of Color. We must recognize that this issue extends beyond statistics. It’s about the lives, struggles, and stories of real people.
Join us on this episode of Beyond Empty Nest as we seek to raise awareness, promote inclusivity, and empower all women in the fight against breast cancer. Together, we can make a difference, one conversation at a time.
In this episode
[03:09] Meet Keneene Lewis, a major advocate for the breast cancer community for women of color.
[05:16] Keneene talks about how she discovered she had breast cancer.
[09:47] Dealing with the physical and financial side effects of cancer.
[14:47] Focusing on metastatic breast cancer and the health disparities that are fact affecting black and brown women.
[18:22] The importance of finding your team.
[19:27] The need for advocacy for black and brown women in their cancer journey.
[20:16] Keneene’s personal experience with bias during her breast cancer treatment.
[25:28] “People didn’t want to sit by me because I was there and you wouldn’t think that that would matter in cancer.” – Keneene
[27:34] Keneene shares her dare with the audience.
Your Dare this week is to be open and get curious about women of color with breast cancer. We must admit that we don’t know that their experience is different and to hold space and listen to them.
About Keneene Lewis
Keneene Lewis is a Support Services Coordinator at Living Beyond Breast Cancer. She can interact with people at a time when their lives are unrecognizable, in part because she’s been there. Keneene found her lump on December 7, 2018, while getting ready for a holiday party.
At that moment, she knew that it was cancer. She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, stage III, ER/PR+ in January 2019. She had numerous surgeries, seven months of chemotherapy, and 33 rounds of radiation.
During her treatment, Keneene knew this was the work that she needed to do, going forward with her life. With each interaction, she wants to provide a listening ear or a word of encouragement. Keneene understands that this is a marathon and not a sprint. She understands that life is forever changed, both mentally and physically, by a cancer diagnosis.
Her focus has been on using her voice to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves. A personal mission of Keneene’s has been to bring awareness to health disparities and biases that women of color have to face once diagnosed with breast cancer.
Keneene is currently free of disease and celebrates her cancerversary on October 30.
Connect with Keneene Lewis
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