Mary J. Blige and other women touched by breast cancer talk importance of screening

The nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer said in an interview with “Good Morning America” that highlighting the illness is important to her because of the racial disparity in breast cancer death rates.

Higher death rates from the disease for Black women are due to several factors, according to the American Cancer Society’s biennial update on female breast cancer statistics in the U.S.

Some include “later stage at diagnosis and other unfavorable tumor characteristics, higher prevalence of obesity and comorbidities, as well as less access to timely and high‐quality prevention, early detection, and treatment services.”

Blige partnered with the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), RAD-AID and Hologic, Inc. for the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign in hopes of giving women necessary information about breast cancer screening and why it’s so important.

Women who have battled the disease or who are currently battling the disease are also sharing more about their cancer journeys in the campaign.

The importance of getting screened: ‘Do it even when you’re scared’

Blige said she feels “a lot of fears and barriers” affect whether or not a woman will prioritize getting screened. After losing an aunt to breast cancer, the singer says she now believes a lack of awareness toward screening played
a role in her loved one’s battle with cancer.

“I believe if she had this information that she would be here today — the importance of a mammogram,” the singer said. “When we were growing up, no one spoke about a mammogram, breast cancer — anything like that.”

The singer recalled having many fears going into her first mammogram after losing her aunt and wondering whether it was going to hurt or if she was going to be diagnosed.

“Once I went into the office and went to the procedure, I realized that it was nothing to it,” she said. “It wasn’t painful, it was just a little discomfort on each breast for a second or two, and then it was over.”

She emphasized how she received early results following her Genius 3D Mammography exam and even called the screening “enlightening.” She also said it made her want to know more about her health.

Kimberly Wortham-Macon, a mother of three, is fighting breast cancer and is featured in the campaign along with Blige. She is also adamant about emphasizing the importance of getting checked.

She said she had been considering putting off her mammogram because of the pandemic but quickly took action and went in for a screening after feeling a lump in her right breast. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July at the age of 40.

PHOTO: Kimberly Wortham-Macon opened up on her battle with breast cancer for the P.O.W.E.R. of Sure campaign.

Kimberly Wortham-Macon

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The Health Benefits of the Virgin Bloody Mary Drink

Cocktails are a lot of fun no matter what the environment. There are some people who simply do not want to drink cocktails because they do not enjoy the negative health effects which they face by drinking too much alcohol. This causes people to avoid cocktails altogether, but there are many cocktails which can be made in a non alcoholic version which will have great health benefits for you. One of the best recipes you can have without alcohol is the virgin Bloody Mary drink. So, put away the punch and the wine. Put the beer back in the fridge and get ready to try a recipe for a healthier cocktail everyone can enjoy.

Why the Bloody Mary is Healthy

The main ingredient in a Bloody Mary is the main reason why the drink is so healthy to begin with. The tomato juice which is used for the cocktail includes many different vitamins in a concentrated dosage. One of the most abundant vitamins is Lycopene. This is a water soluble vitamin which is very good for your heart. It helps in removing clogs which are caused by plaque in your arteries as well as other heart maladies.

You will also find a lot of vitamin C in tomato juice. Many people are unaware of how much vitamin C you can get from a tomato. Since Tomato juice contains all of the water from the tomato, you are getting every ounce of vitamin C the tomato has to offer. What better way to enjoy it than with the spicy concoction that is the Bloody Mary drink. You will even find you will consume less sugar and sodium than you will if you were to drink a soft drink of the same volume.

How to Increase the Health Benefits

While the standard Bloody Mary is already pretty healthy, you will enjoy even more benefits when you pair it with a stalk of celery or even add celery puree to your mixture. Adding garlic and onions is another great heart healthy way to drink yourself into a healthier future. Even the addition of the spice is a great way to increase metabolism and awaken the senses. You can find this in horseradish or in hot sauce. Both of these are common ingredients. Use fresh lime juice in the cocktail and the health benefits will go through the roof.

Some may try to tell about how wines have been proven to help reduce fat and increase heart functions. While there might be some truth to this, drinking any alcohol is simply not for everyone. This does not mean you have to miss out on all of the health benefits which are available to you through a properly prepared beverage. You can enjoy a Bloody Mary drink and your body will thank you for it. The best part is, this is a cocktail you can share with the entire family even if they like to drink alcohol. No one will miss the vodka if you …

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