Take Care of Your Girls

Updated: Oct 12, 2021





Ananda Lewis was the “it” girl back in the day with her hosting jobs on BET and MTV. She was the brown skin sister with pretty hair that was down to earth and relatable during a time when Black women didn’t occupy such spaces. Recently, Ananda shared on her social media that she was fighting stage 3 breast cancer. I won’t go into detail about her video because it’s still up on Instagram for those interested, but, Ananda serves as a reminder of how important getting a mammogram is, especially for black women. While reading posts on a popular women's forum in response to Ananda’s video, I was disturbed to see so many Black women admitting they hadn’t gotten their mammograms. Several stated they were afraid it would be painful while others hadn’t been tested due to lack of insurance. I think for many of us, fear is a normal emotion when going to the doctors. Let’s face it, Black people and medical professionals haven’t always had the best relationship, however, it’s worth working through that fear to make sure you’re healthy. Bring someone with you, practice breathing exercises, pray, or do whatever it takes to calm your fears, just don’t let fear stop you from getting a mammogram. In New Orleans, women without insurance have low or no cost options to getting a mammogram. There’s a list of resources below. To quote Ananda Lewis, “Get your mammogram scheduled, and then show up for it, and then do it, because the consequences of not doing it you don’t want. Please trust me on that…” In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, take care of your girls. According to the CDC, “Black women are more likely than white women to get triple-negative breast cancer, a kind of breast cancer that often is aggressive and comes back after treatment.” The American Cancer Society recommends that “women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.” Low or No Cost Mammograms in New Orleans St. Thomas Community Health Center (504) 529-5558 Access Health Louisiana 866-530-6111 West Jefferson Medical Center (504)349-2104 Mary Bird Perkins at St. Tammany Parish Hospital Cancer Program (985) 898-4000 (888)616-4687 (504)349-2104 Daughters of Charity Health Centers (DePaul Community Health) (504)207-3060