Singer Mary J. Blige sat down with first lady Jill Biden to speak on the importance of getting screened for cancer as part of Biden’s roundtable series with the American Cancer Society on Breast and Cervical Cancer.
During the sit-down, Blige said, “I’m here today as a Black woman who is passionate about using my platform to encourage other women to prioritize their health. Namely, their annual well woman’s visits, mammograms, paps, plus HPV tests.”
The Grammy-Award-winning singer then opened up about losing family members to the disease. “I lost aunts, not an aunt, but several family members to breast cancer. Grandmother to cervical cancer… and it just keeps going on and on.”
She talked about how the loss of her family members has caused her to become an advocate for urging women to get tested. She has also revealed that she has partnered with the Black Women’s Health Imperative to bring awareness about the screenings.
“I’m convinced that if all of my aunts, my godmother, my grandparents, had the opportunity to see a campaign like the ones on which I partner with the Black Women’s Health Imperative that directed them to go for information, they would have a different outcome today,” she said.
According to reports, Black women are diagnosed at a higher percentage rate than white women, and they also have a higher mortality rate than white women as well.
Blige added, “Black women are more likely to be screened at lower resource facilities and also experience longer intervals between detection, diagnosis, and treatment.”