Earlier in the month, we wrote about why Asian women need to care about breast cancer despite the myth that breast cancer is not a worry for Asian women. Luckily, we aren’t the only ones to take note of this issue.
The National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative is the first national organization dedicated to raising awareness that breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Asian women in the United States.
NABCI is a not-for-profit project put together by the efforts of Privy Groupe, the Asian Pacific Community Fund, the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.
This month, timed perfectly with breast cancer awareness month, NABCI is creating a social media campaign called the “Asian women don’t get breast cancer” campaign which aims to shine light on the relationship between Asians and breast cancer.
The title of the campaign is honor of breast cancer activist Susan Shinagawa:
In 1991, Susan noticed a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Her mammogram came out negative, but a sonogram revealed that the lump was a solid mass. Two doctors in different states diagnosed Susan with fibrocystic breast disease–lumpy breasts–and both initially refused to do a biopsy because, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.” After the biopsy, Susan was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and opted for a modified radical mastectomy of her right breast and six months of chemotherapy. Ten years later, a routine mammogram revealed that Susan had an unrelated breast cancer in her left breast, for which she underwent a second mastectomy.
Susan is still in active treatment and has become one of the nation’s leading Asian breast cancer activists. Susan helped co-found the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (APINCSN), which is a partner of NABCI. To this day, Susan still meets Asian women (mostly young) diagnosed with breast cancer who were initially told by their healthcare providers that “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”
To make a direct donation to NABCI, checks can be made payable to the “Asian Pacific
Community Fund FBO NABCI”.
Asian Pacific Community Fund
1145 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90017
All funds will be used towards the following goals:
● build a multi-language information and resource directory website at asianbreastcancer.org
● produce printed in-language materials that can be distributed to breast cancer outreach centers throughout the U.S.
● solicit and create a Youtube channel for Asian breast cancer survivor stories in multiple languages
● create a medical exchange for U.S. and Asia-based breast cancer doctors to share best practices for detecting and treating breast cancer for Asian women
● organize a national breast cancer awareness campaign targeting Asian women in the U.S. (especially immigrants)
● become an advocate for public policy and research that relate to breast cancer and Asian women in the U.S. and abroad
Remember to check out all the reasons this issue needs to be recognized in our community. Tell your loved ones to get checked and help spread the word! Like this campaign on facebook.com/asianbreastcancer and follow them at @aznbreastcancer. Find out more at www.asianbreastcancer.org.