Although Black women are slightly less likely than white women to get breast cancer, they are 42% more likely to die of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s why breast surgeon Dr. Regina Hampton dedicated her life to helping women battle the disease. She’s a Black voice making a difference.
Hampton is the medical director of the Breast Care Center at Doctor’s Community Hospital in Lanham, Maryland. She said she began looking at how women in her community — many of whom are women of color — were treated by some of her colleagues.
“I found that they were being rushed through the process,” Hampton said. “People weren’t taking the time to give them options.”
Hampton cofounded a nonprofit called Breast Care for Washington, operating a mammography screening facility located in Southeast D.C.’s Ward 8.
“Our goal is to reduce the breast cancer mortality rate specifically in African American women by providing access to top level, top technology in mammography,” Hampton added, saying services will be provided regardless of cost.
There is a question about how women take the next step toward wholeness after breast cancer surgery.
And Hampton has been instrumental in helping women take that vital step.
Hampton noticed providers were giving pink-toned prosthetics to brown women. Just as she saw a need for more breast care services in Ward 8, she saw a need for women of color to have prosthetics that help them feel as close to their pre-surgery selves as possible.
So she cofounded Cherry Blossom Intimates in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a bra and intimates boutique that offers custom color matched prosthesis for women of color whether they’ve had a lumpectomy, mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy.
She wanted to do something to make a difference — and she did.
“We offer color-conscious prosthetics that match at least 31 different skins tones,” Hampton said, allowing women of color who are breast cancer survivors to move through the world with a sense of confidence. They also stock hard-to-find bra sizes from AA to O.