Episode 57: Why do Black women with breast cancer have worse outcomes?

Black women with breast cancer have higher mortality rates and recurrence rates than white women. On this episode, we speak with Ricki Fairley, breast cancer survivor and co-founder of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance and her daughter Hayley Brown, Director of Programs, about why health equity is such a major issue, and the need for better access to care and more research on the biology of the disease in Black women. This conversation explores various themes related to Black breast cancer, including access to healthcare, disparities in trials and outcomes, the need for personalized care, and the importance of education and advocacy. Don’t miss an important conversation with this mother and daughter dynamic duo!

  • Ricki Fairley

    Ricki Fairley is an award-winning, seasoned marketing veteran that has transformed her strategic acumen into breast cancer advocacy. Ricki co-founded and serves as CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance to address Black Breast Cancer as a unique and special disease state, with the overall goal of reducing the mortality rate for Black women. As a Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor/Thriver, Ricki’s personal purpose, passion, mission, ministry, and blessing is to bring focus, attention, research, science, and action to eradicating Black Breast Cancer, and supporting and coaching what she calls her “Breasties” through their breast cancer experience. She also actively assists pharmaceutical companies in revamping and designing their clinical trial recruiting materials.

  • Hayley Brown

    Hayley Brown serves as the Director of Programs and Partnerships for TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance. TOUCH is a non-profit organization focusing on eradicating Black Breast Cancer. Hayley’s goal is to bring the TOUCH programming to where all black women live, work, play, pray, and slay through local community outreach and national events. She is currently focused on reaching young black women and defining Black Breast Health. In combination with her teaching background and her passion for supporting breasties at all parts of their journey, Hayley plans to continue to educate, empower, and equip this amazing community to be the CEO’s of their own health.

Watch the video of our episode on YouTube

  • 6 minutes:

    “Black women under 35 get breast cancer at twice the rate, die at three times the rate of white women. Black women between the ages of 20 and 29 have a 58% higher chance of dying from breast cancer than white women. I can keep going. The stats are horrible. Black women are three times more likely to get triple negative breast cancer, so I put this all together in a PowerPoint presentation. I said, something is wrong and no one could explain the numbers to me. I went to the big breast cancer conference in San Antonio that happens every December and I started talking to the pharma companies that make breast cancer drugs. And when I painted this picture for black women and said, this is a devastating situation, this is basically a crisis, and what are you doing about it? No one had really thought about it that way. I said, well, something's wrong, so I'm going to call it Black breast cancer.”

  • 27 minutes:

     “A lot of these studies that are driving the standard of care did not include women of color. That's what we're dealing with in this world. You can just jump off this ledge because you saw one piece of information from this obscure thing or an article, so how do we make sure that people are doing this homework and have this space to do so much. Do they have wifi to do this homework?”

  • 50 minutes:

    “I think it's just about being solution-oriented. Which can come from a lot of different emotions. It could be acceptance, it could be anger, it could be whatever, right? So whatever's driving you, continue to feel that and use it to be solution-oriented. I don't think it's a matter of, there's one way to feel. It's more like, what are you doing with it, with whatever feeling you're having to create change, to drive this mission, and keeping in the back of your mind that, cancer is our enemy, nothing else. Not that person that I met over there who was annoying. It's just keeping in the back of my mind that cancer is our enemy.”

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