An Organization Dedicated to Education and Outreach and Ultimately Increasing the Survival Rates of African-Americans Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

As a co-founder of CBBC, I welcome this opportunity to educate about differences in the outcome of breast cancer on people of different races. First let me stress the fact that CBBC is not an exclusionary organization. We welcome all who want to join us in providing support to survivors of breast cancer and educating the community. We are blessed to have people of all backgrounds volunteer with and support our organization. There are realities however about the outcomes of breast cancer in African Americans. Nationally, as well as in our Phoenix metro community, the survival rates for breast cancer are lower for African Americans than other populations even in early stage patients. Some of this has to do with access to care, but some has to do with cancer biology and a higher prevalence of triple negative breast cancer in African Americans which has a more aggressive course. Our organization seeks to impart knowledge to the African American community about breast cancer screening , diagnosis, and treatment. Knowledge is power to improve one’s health! I invite you to come and check out our organization and get involved to help with this disease that impacts so many. Our monthly meeting on the third Sunday of each month is free and open to all and will have messages that will impact all regardless of race, creed, or color. Hope to see you there!

Michele Halyard, MD., Co-Founder, Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer

hOW WE GOT STARTED

The idea for an initiative focused on the unique circumstances Black patients face pathologically, culturally and physically came about in early 2009. Mayo clinic employees, Dr. Michele Halyard and Marion Kelly, were;discussing the need within the Black community for high-quality information on breast cancer. They knew the medical differences, like tumor biology, coupled with cultural issues, such as a hesitation to openly discuss illness, was leading to higher mortality rates. As active members of the Phoenix Chapter of the Links, Inc., and Sigma Pi Phi, Gamma Mu Boule, Dr. Halyard and Mr. Kelly enlisted support of the local chapters. The first outreach was an educational program in October 2009 that was attended by 100 women and men, who all agreed that more education and outreach was needed. The next meeting, consisting of about 75 leaders of the African-American community, established that formal effort should be launched. The CBBC was introduced in 2010 and since January 2011 has held annual events and monthly meetings of survivors and those interested in and affected by breast cancer.

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Our Mission

The Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer is a Arizona 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide high quality reliable information and support to black breast cancer patients within the Phoenix metropolitan area, and to educate the black community about breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and screening.

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Our Vision

Our vision is that every person of African descent who is a breast cancer survivor in the Phoenix Metropolitan area will have access to high quality information, and support, and resources to assist in their breast cancer journey. Furthermore, as a result of the survivor efforts, the black population within the Phoenix Metropolitan area will become more educated about breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.

Why Focus on Black Breast Cancer Issues?

Nationally, the survival for breast cancer in African American women lags behind other ethnic group. Within the Phoenix Metropolitan area, the CBBC is the only organization dedicated specifically targeting black women and men with breast cancer. Our goal is to provide accurate and current information related to the cancer diagnosis and treatment, or prevention and screening through this website, social channels, monthly meetings, outreach, and educational programming.

 

Meet the CBBC Leadership Team

Founded in 2010, the Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer is a collaborative initiative between the Mayo Clinic, Sigma Pi Phi, Gamma Mu Boule, and The Phoenix Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.

 

Michele Halyard, M.D.

Co-Founder and President
Radiation Oncologist
Mayo Clinic Arizona

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Madelyn K. Thomas

Secretary
DCS Specialist
Department of Child Safety
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Marion Kelly

Co-Founder and Administrator
Director, Community & Business Relations
Mayo Clinic
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Mieko Vernon

Treasurer
Financial Planning and Analysis Manger
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Join Us!

CBBC monthly meetings are held on the third Sunday of each month, 3 – 5 pm, at the Cancer Support Community, 360 E. Palm Lane, Phoenix. Please email your attendance to kelly.marion@mayo.edu.

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