RICHMOND, Va. -- From a block walk to a health fair, every year The Sisters Network Central Virginia is on a mission to inform and save lives.
"There is life after breast cancer. I'm a 19 year survivor,” Zelma Watkins said.
Watkins, the event chair and founder said the group's mission will stay the same, but this year's breast cancer awareness event will be a little different It’s a health forum with five breast cancer doctors making up the panel.
“Where can you go and receive information from all these doctors at one time in one place and they're going to take your questions,” Watkins asked.
Six years ago, Sisters Network hosted a similar health forum. An event after which Watkins said they got the most feedback. She also said two friends were so moved by what they heard, they went to see their doctor.
"One of them told me she knew something was wrong , but she just had a fear of going and finding out what it was,” Watkins said.
The Sisters Network is a survivorship organization aimed at targeting black women with information and getting rid of the fear.
"We have to push that fear aside and we have to do what we have to do to live,” Watkins said.
- Black and white women are diagnosed with breast cancer at the same rate, but black women die at a higher rate.
- Black women tend to be diagnosed at a younger age.
- Black women are more likely to get triple negative breast cancer which is an aggressive form of cancer.
Watkins said that's why the upcoming health forum is so important.
"By educating many, hopefully we will save many,” Watkins said.
The Sisters Network Central Virginia Community Health Forum is Saturday, Sept. 28. CBS 6 Anchor Reba Hollingsworth will emcee the event of which CBS 6 is a proud sponsor.
The doctors participating in the Sisters Network Central Virginia health forum are:
- Hematology/Oncology - Dr. Mary H. Hackney, MD- VCU Massey Cancer Center (Moderator)
- Radiologist - Dr. Tsz W. Ng, MD- Ellen Shaw de Parades Institute
- Surgeon - Dr. James V. Pellicane, MD- Bon Secours Virginia Breast Ctr.
- Oncologist - Dr. William J. Irvin Jr., MD- Bon Secours Cancer Institute
- Plastic Surgeon - Dr. Sharline Z. Aboutanos, MD- Richmond Plastic Surgeons