CHICAGO (CBS)– Grammy award winning singer Mary J. Blige has been topping the charts for the last three decades. Now the iconic performer is using her voice for some personal, real talk with women.
Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, according to the CDC. Blige told CBS 2 it was that startling statistic that’s pushing her message, to get a mammogram.
“I was nervous,” Blige said. “Nervous about if it was going to be painful, nervous about if I was going to get a breast cancer diagnosis.”
Blige described her first mammogram and the fear she had.
“They take one of your breasts and they put it into a machine, they squeeze it,” She said. “Discomfort for maybe a second then they go to the next one, a little uncomfortable for second and then you’re out of there.”
Blige is helping launch the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure, a campaign encouraging Black women to get a yearly mammogram starting at age 40.
“Growing up, we didn’t have that information, no one spoke about it, our grandmothers didn’t speak about it, our mothers didn’t speak about it,” She said.
Linda Goler Blount, CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, said said the higher mortality rate from breast cancer in Black women is not because of anything biological or genetic.
“It’s because they tend to get their breast cancers detected later and disparities, socially and economically, that Black women face when it comes to healthcare,” Blount said.
Blige is encouraging everyone to get a mammogram now.
“I had an aunt who died from breast cancer and I believe that was because of lack of information, lack of healthcare and I believe if she had all those things, she would be here today,” Blige said.
Schedule a mammogram at a location near you on the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure website.