Take charge of your breast health with a plan of action

breast cancer newly diagnosed

Your Action Plan

  • Monthly Breast Self-Exam (BSE) starting at age 15.
  • Ask your health provider to show you how to do a proper BSE.
  • View a video to learn how to check your breasts: “How to do a Self-Breast Exam”.
  • Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) annually by your health care provider.
  • Screening Mammogram, every two years starting at 35 years of age according to your or your family cancer history.
  • Learn about your family’s cancer history and genetics, specifically cancer of the breast, colon, ovaries and prostate that are gene and hormone related.
  • Reduce your alcohol and fat intake, reduce your weight, and increase your exercise.
  • See your doctor ASAP. Early detection, diagnosis, and medical treatments help increase better outcomes and survival.
  • Ask your doctor for information about your condition and what you need to know going forward before you leave your visit.
  • You have a right to seek a second opinion, get answers you can understand and receive proper medical care.
  • Read our “Breast Cancer 411” guide, general information to help you understand breast cancer

Contact us by email or call (612) 462-6813 if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Host a Fundraiser or Event for AABCA

Host an event for AABCA

AABCA allows anyone to raise awareness and funds for AABCA. Sharing information about breast cancer and black women in your community is wonderful. You can host an event that brings your community, family, friends, office, school or religious group together, pledge your birthday, or honor a loved one(s) diagnosed with, fighting, surviving or that passed from breast cancer. Our breast cancer educational materials are available to share at your events.

Community Breast Cancer Awareness Event (Form)

Please contact us at

Sharing information about breast cancer

Breat Cancer Survivor Stories

It is important to pay attention to changes in your body, take charge of your health and take care of your life. AABCA encourages women to learn about breast health and breast cancer. Do not ignore changes in your breasts or delay seeing a healthcare provider if you find a problem.  Learn how to do a Breast Self-Exam (BSE) with this video. Recognize these early signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Seeking help and medical attention early on, can make all the difference.


LGBT Women and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects anyone with breast, breast tissue, whether you are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual woman, or a man in a same sex relationship. Breast cancer does not discriminate.

The incidence of breast cancer in gay, lesbian, and bisexual women is the same as in straight women and so are the mortality rates for LGBT Black Americans.

Breast cancer incidences increase with age in all women. Research indicates that Black LGBT women experience higher rates of breast cancer compared to straight women. The barriers women face is accessing quality health care, alcohol consumption, giving birth later in life or never experiencing childbirth, obesity, other health issues and smoking. Black LGBT women may defer early detection and breast cancer screening due to discrimination, isolation, lack of insurance, the stigma, and stress associated with their relationships and sexual orientation.

It is important to know your family medical history and if there are genetic links to breast cancer. No matter what your lifestyle is, be pro-active in your breast health; do not ignore abnormal sign in your breasts or body that might indicate a problem that needs medical attention and follow-up.

For more information about breast cancer and LGBT concerns go to: https://cancer-network.org/cancer-information/lesbians-andcancer/lesbians-and-breast-cancer-risk/

Check out the story of Ericka Hart, a young Black LGBT woman diagnosed with breast cancer, “Faces of Strength”: http://www.ihartericka.com/

Talk to Your Doctor

Ask Your Doctor

1. All women are at risk for breast cancer. The risk increases as you age.

2. 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.

3. Not all breast lumps are breast cancer. 80 to 85 percent of breast lumps are benign, noncancerous, especially in women younger than age 40.

4. Black/African American women under the age of 40 can have tumors that are more aggressive and require early detection, frequent breast cancer screenings and aggressive medical treatment to increase chances of survival.

5. Rare cases of breast cancer have been found in girls as young as age 15.

6. Inform your doctor or nurse if you or your relatives have a family history of breast cancer or cancer.

7. Elderly women may be less aware of breast cancer risk factors and delay seeking medical attention. This delay may result in more advanced disease.

8. Because of the biological and racial differences in breast cancer mortality, research studies have concluded that early and frequent breast cancer screenings are essential to increasing the survival advantages for black women.

9. Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among black women.

10. Do a regular self-exam, checking for any unusual changes such as:

  • Changes and lumps on the inside or outside of your breasts, chest, pectoral muscles, collarbone, nipples, torso, or underarms.
  • Strange discharge or fluid from the nipples that is bloody, clear, or pus-like that smells foul.
  • Skin changes that are bumpy, dark, different color, itchy, painful, puckered, rash-like, redness, and sores, ulcers, shrunken, swollen, or tender.

11. Men can also develop breast cancer. The signs and symptoms are the same as those for women.

12. In 2022, an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

13. Fortunately, survival rates are increasing due to improved breast cancer detection, as well as advances in breast cancer treatments.

Breast Cancer in Men

Male breast cancer is a rare disease. In the United States, fewer than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2022, about 2,710 American men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 530 are expected to die from the disease. An average man’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in his lifetime is about one in 1,000 (compared to one in eight for the average woman).

Doctors say that men should be familiar with how their chest muscles and breast tissue normally looks and feels so they can be aware of any changes. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances it can be successfully treated. The outcomes of men with breast cancer are about the same as those of women diagnosed at the same age and stage.

Since there are relatively few cases of breast cancer in men compared to women, there is less information and research focused specifically on male breast cancer. As a result, treatment decisions for male breast cancer are often based on studies of breast cancer in women. Fortunately, more clinical trials of breast cancer treatments are now including men.

If you are a man who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is worth finding out if you can enroll in a clinical trial of a treatment that might be beneficial for you. Some men who have had breast cancer say they felt especially shocked and isolated by their diagnosis because everyone views breast cancer as a women’s disease. Many say they had never met other men who had breast cancer. It is important to know that support is available through groups like the Male Breast Cancer Coalition.

The Male Breast Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit patient advocacy organization, can connect you with other men diagnosed with breast cancer for one-to-one peer support. The organization also has conferences, an email list, online message boards, and monthly virtual support group meetings. Contact the coalition for more information. https://malebreastcancercoalition.org

Impairments, Limitations, Physical Disabilities and Breast Cancer

Physical disabilities and breast-cancer

All women are at risk for breast cancer and need to be aware of early detection methods and treatment for breast cancer. Women living with a physical disability (limbs, skeletal, vision, etc.) may face challenges that make it hard to do a breast self-exam and/or get a mammogram.

It is recommended that all women perform a Breast Self-Exam (BSE), have an annual Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) by their healthcare provider and begin annual mammograms when appropriate.

Practicing BSE may be difficult if you have limited arm and hand movement, or limited sensation in your fingers. You may need someone to help you examine your breasts. Make sure it is someone with whom you feel safe and comfortable. Ask this person to describe what they are noticing as they go through the process and to write it down so you can share this information with your healthcare provider at your next clinical exam.

Women with physical disabilities face multiple barriers to access, detection and diagnosis that may result in delayed treatment and increased risk of poorer outcomes from breast cancer. Providers require education about working with women with disabilities. Women must find a mammography center that really is accessible and user-friendly.

Getting Screened: Tips for Women with Disabilities

If you are a woman living with a disability, you may face challenges that make it hard to get a mammogram. Here are some questions to ask when scheduling your mammogram that can help you prepare for your appointment:

  • How should I dress?
  • How do I prepare if I use a wheelchair or a scooter?
  • Can the machine be adjusted so I can remain seated?
  • How long is the appointment and can I have more time if I need it?
  • Does the mammography screening room have enough swing space to make maneuvering a wheelchair, especially a motorized chair even possible?
  • Is the staff trained, comfortable, and willing to position both a mammography machine and a woman with a physical disability?

Let the scheduling staff, radiology technicians, or radiologist know if you can/cannot:

  • Sit upright with or without assistance.
  • Lift and move your arms.
  • Transfer from your chair/scooter.
  • Undress/dress without assistance.

When preparing for your mammogram, remember:

  • Wear a blouse or shirt that opens in the front.
  • No need to wear a bra or wear a bra that you can remove easily.
  • Do not put use underarm deodorant or body powder.
  • If you have any disability-related concerns, discuss them with your primary care physician, women’s health specialist, radiologist, physician’s assistant, or other healthcare professional.