Carrie’s TOUCH launches HILARIOUSLY, WITTY campaign shedding light on the arduous experiences of Black women diagnosed with breast cancer

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby


Carrie’s TOUCH is a non-profit that provides advocacy, support, resources, research and education for Black women battling breast cancer.

“YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER” are words nobody wants to hear. But for women across the globe forced to accept this harsh reality, what happens following the diagnosis is what shapes the burdensome journey.

Sadly, the disparities in lack of access to care, adequate resources and support between Black and white women diagnosed with the disease are mind blowing, which is why Carrie’s TOUCH is helping drive the difficult conversation.

Through a quick-witted, hilariously written campaign video, Carrie’s TOUCH sheds light on the seriousness of the arduous experiences of Black women following their diagnoses with breast cancer.

The satirical video, ironically titled, “Breast Cancer Be Like, ”pushes forward a necessary look at the gross inequalities in care, treatment and support many Black women face. “It’s time to shift the narrative and redefine what a breast cancer survivor looks like,” said Carrie’s TOUCH founder, Rev. Tammie Denyse.

In the video, viewers first meet Amy, a woman completely overwhelmed with support before being told: “YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER.” After witnessing the outpouring of love, resources and guidance Amy receives from a plethora of medical professionals, viewers are quickly faced with the actuality that Black women often don’t receive the same level of engagement.

The stories highlighted in #BreastCancerBeLike, which were written, produced and conceptualized by Black women, are based on actual events and incidents shared by Black survivors. “It would blow your mind to learn how many Black women had similar experiences to the woman in the video. I’m one of them. That’s MY story,” Rev. Tammie added. “That’s why Carrie’s TOUCH is unapologetic about sharing our truths, it’s our season.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a global effort to increase awareness about breast cancer, but for Denyse, discussing disparities in different communities around the world should be an ongoing conversation. “Our research efforts are first, about humanizing the Black woman,” Rev. Tammie explained. “Then, and only then are we able to bring equity to her experience with breast cancer. We are moving beyond discussions, we are developing pathways that are culturally aware, culturally competent and culturally sensitive.”


Though Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a slightly lower incidence rate (3%) than white women, Black women are 42% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. This is an astounding number and indicative of a variety of factors, many reflecting racial disparities.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women and an estimated 33,840 new cases are expected to be diagnosed by the end of 2020. An estimated 6,540 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among black women in 2020.

Higher death rates among Black women reflect the following:

  • Historical tragedies such as The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has traumatized the Black community since 1932. Fear and trauma are major factors causing lack of trust in the Black community with medical professionals, even today.
  • Lack of awareness, education, access, resources and support are all factors in fully understanding the importance of early detection. While 92% of black women agree breast health is important, only 25% have recently discussed breast health with their family, friends, or colleagues. And, only 17% have taken steps to understand their risk for breast cancer.
  • Black Women are more often at an advanced stage upon diagnosis.
  • Black women may not have access to sufficient health care or health insurance, and may have lower frequency of longer intervals between mammogram screenings.
  • Because they may not have insurance, Black women may not follow up on abnormal mammogram results because they can’t afford the diagnostic testing.
  • Black women often do not receive the same level of high quality treatment compared to white women.
  • Black women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a type of breast cancer that often is aggressive and has higher recurrence rates after treatment. Triple Negative Breast Cancer has the highest mortality rate and is the only breast cancer subtype that does not have a targeted therapy to prevent recurrence. Black women, younger women and women diagnosed at later stages are more likely to be diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer.