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Black women gather to battle breast cancer


The Sisters Network Gift For Life Block Walk participants & volunteers. Photo by Charles Edgerton The Sisters Network Gift For Life Block Walk participants & volunteers. Photo by Charles Edgerton

Sisters Network Greensboro hosted its 5th annual Gift For Life Block Walk and Health Fair on Saturday, September 19 at Peeler Recreation Center. More than 100 volunteers participated in the door-to-door canvass to distribute breast cancer information and to invite residents to attend the health fair at Peeler. The goal of this activity is to save lives and to provide a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting African American women.

The health fair featured health screenings such as glucose, blood pressure checks, HIV, screenings for sickle cell as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Health agencies provided information on many aspects of health and wellness including physical fitness, mammography and child care. Many attendees were able to get their flu shots provided by Walgreen’s Pharmacy. A physician was on-site to offer free clinical breast exams. On the fun side, there were activities for children such as face painting. Zumba and gelato treats were also offered.

Although all women affected by breast cancer are living longer, African American women continue to experience the highest mortality rates. According to the American Cancer Society, African Americans tend to have a lower five-year survival than Whites overall for each stage of diagnosis for most cancer sites. Younger women, under the age of 40, tend to have larger tumors which tend to be more aggressive and often difficult to treat.

Since there is no cure for breast cancer, the best protection is early detection.

Sisters Network Greensboro offers free screening mammograms to uninsured women and seeks to provide ongoing education about breast cancer, treatment and available resources through its annual Breast Cancer Symposium in June.

The Gift For Life Block Walk is a national initiative of Sisters Network Inc., and during September and October nationwide, Sister Network chapters are conducting the door-to-door canvass commonly known as “Block Walk”. The 2015 Greensboro Block Walk had its largest attendance in five years, and volunteers who participated every year since 2011 received certificates of recognition.