Empowering Women of Color to Advocate for Best Breast Cancer Treatment

In part five of CURE’s “Breaking Barriers: Addressing Women of Color Underrepresentation in Clinical Trials” webinar, Ricki Fairley, CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance; Hayley Brown, director of partnerships and programs at TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance; and Michelle Anderson-Benjamin, CEO and founder of The Fearless Warrior Organization, discussed way patients can be empowered to seek out and receive the best care for their treatment.

“I’m impatient about finding another way (to treat breast cancer) because the current status quo is not working and we live in this world of health inequity; we don’t have it and I don’t think we’re going to get it until everybody demands that golden standard of care,” Fairley said. “What your mother taught you when you were 2 years old, ‘treat others as you want to be treated,’ and that’s the care you demand from your doctors. Come back and say (to your doctor), ‘Is that the treatment plan you would give your mama, your grandma, your daughter? Because if it’s not good enough for your family, it’s not good enough for me. I want the care and the love and the support and the science that you’re bringing to your family in my house.’”


00:04 – Clinical trials and cancer treatment.

  • The panel offered closing thoughts on clinical trials.
  • Michelle Anderson-Benjamin encourages women to advocate for themselves and to have the conversation with their providers about clinical trials and research.

01:38 – Increasing participation in clinical trials for Black women.

  • Ricki Fairley encouraged women of color to demand better health care through clinical trials, and to be the “girl boss” of their own bodies.
  • She also discussed Touch, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance’s #BlackDataMatters initiative, signing up over 12,000 Black women to their clinical trial portal.

02:32 – Cancer treatment and patient empowerment.

  • Michelle Anderson-Benjamin also told women to be fearless and find the places in life where patients can take back control over their life after a breast cancer diagnosis.

03:17 – Health care inequality and patient-centered care.

  • Ricki Fairley advocated for patient-centered care, emphasizing empathy and personalized treatment plans for Black women with breast cancer.
  • She added that her motto is, “No is never the answer.”

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