Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in Canada and the most common among women. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 26,000 women will be diagnosed and 15 will die from the disease every day in 2022 alone.

Survival rates are generally high: 8 out of 10 women with breast cancer will survive for at least five years after their diagnosis. But treating the disease requires early detection and screening — something that can be a challenge for Black and racialized women.

While there is little data about breast cancer incidence and mortality rates among Black women, evidence from the US suggests that Black women living in Canada are less likely to get a mammogram than white women.

Anti-Black racism, something that permeates Canadian society in many forms, contributes to keeping Black women out of a health care system that doesn't address their experiences, or worse, fails to value their lives. Norms, discourse, and imagery related to breast cancer also carry biases that frame the disease as inherently white.

Women's College Hospital (WCH) is taking steps to address these barriers. With the support of clinicians, scientists, and researchers, the organization recently launched a campaign called "Every Breast Counts" to boost awareness about the distinct realities of Black women’s experiences with breast cancer, and, ultimately, helping make screening more accessible and equitable.

The campaign, hosted on WCH's website, was created for Black women and by Black women, with resources on topics ranging from risk assessment and mental health to stories of survivors.

Global Citizen spoke to WCH Chair of Implementation Science Dr. Aisha Lofters and Project Lead Rumaisa Khan to learn more about the campaign.

Read the full article about medical racism by Sarah El Gharib at Global Citizen.