R&B legend and cancer advocate Mary J. Blige joined First Lady Jill Biden, EdD, and the American Cancer Society to support the Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot initiative and discuss racial disparities regarding cancer diagnoses and treatment.
The legendary ladies were part of a roundtable discussion at the White House that included cancer survivors and experts, reports USA Today. The event also helped launch the American Cancer Society’s series of roundtable discussions on breast and cervical cancer.
Blige spoke about the importance of being proactive when it comes to cancer. Having lost aunts, grandparents and a godmother to breast, lung and cervical cancer, Blige has witnessed firsthand the disparities in cancer diagnoses and outcomes among Blacks compared with whites.
Today, @AmericanCancer is answering the Cancer Moonshot’s call to make progress against two diseases that have taken so many lives: breast and cervical cancer.— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) October 24, 2022
Together, we are taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to end cancer as we know it. pic.twitter.com/BgCr6Mn6OG
Blige spoke with Biden about the misconceptions some Black women often have regarding mammograms and how “not wanting other people in our business” can drive racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes.
With a heavy heart, Blige said she believed that if her family members had been better informed about cancer and cancer prevention, they might have experienced different outcomes.
This is not the first time Blige has advocated for health issues. A few weeks ago—October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—she spoke out for preventive screenings, such as in the tweeted video below:
If you’ve joined us on the #GoodMorningGorgeousTour, you’ve heard from me and my partners @Hologic about the importance of preventive screenings. I want all my fans to know that your health is your wealth. Make it your priority too. Check out https://t.co/BzvtpoBG2D #Hologic #ad pic.twitter.com/b19ylQb9w4— Mary J. Blige (@maryjblige) October 17, 2022
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. Although breast cancer death rates dropped 43% between 1989 and 2020, breast cancer mortality disproportionately affects Black and Latino women.
President Joe Biden and the first lady reignited the Cancer Moonshot earlier this year. The initiative provides funding for top oncology experts to expand cancer research and create innovative treatments and therapies.
Tamika, by sharing your journey with cervical cancer at the White House, you are helping women everywhere feel less alone.— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) October 25, 2022
Thank you for your courage and for all you are doing to help others access the care they need. #CancerMoonshot pic.twitter.com/q2bREDI381
The Cancer Moonshot was originally launched in 2016. The new iteration of the initiative aims to cut the cancer death rate in half in the next 25 years and, as President Biden put it, “end cancer as we know it.”
“The Cancer Moonshot is about a future where we don’t have to be afraid of cancer anymore. And today, we are coming together to make that future real,” First Lady Biden said during the White House event. “None of us can beat cancer alone, and it will take all of us putting patients and their loved ones at the center of their own cancer journey, from screenings to survivorship.”
Blige plans to continue to spread awareness about the importance of making preventative cancer screenings a priority for all.
For related articles, read “Jill Biden Discusses Breast Cancer Research at UCSF,” “Biden Supercharges His 2016 Cancer Moonshot Program,” and “Breast Cancer Death Rates Drop; Wide Gap for Black Women Remains Stagnant.”