Actress, author and activist Meagan Good sat down to chat with MADAMENOIRE about a uterine cancer scare she experienced and how that inspired her to recently partner with FORCE, SHARE, Eisai Inc. and Black Health Matters for the Spot Her® campaign in an effort to raise awareness about the disease.
As gynecologic oncologist Dr. Ginger J. Gardner shared with MN, endometrial cancer, the most common type of uterine cancer, is the number one most frequently diagnosed gynecologic cancer in the United States and the fourth most common cancer amongst women in the nation.
Moreover, cases are rising.
Good shared that although her uterine cancer scare happened around a decade ago, the experience made her “immediately think about how we have to be proactive and have these conversations, especially in the Black community.”
“In my experience, I showed up for a regular gynecologist appointment and found out I had abnormal cells in my uterus. And then I found out that it could possibly develop into something cancerous,” the Harlem actress shared. “It was a really, really scary experience but the takeaways for me were thank God I was going to my appointments regularly, thank God they were able to detect it early and thank God they changed the scenario.”
“It was especially scary because both my grandmothers and my grandfather passed away from cancer, and at that time, my Aunt Sandy recently had a mastectomy,” Good explained.
Both the actress and Gardner highlighted that in terms of the statistics on how Black women are affected by endometrial cancer, only 53% of the population receive an early-stage diagnosis.
“While some cancers fortunately are in a downward trend in terms of numbers, year upon year we’re actually seeing an increasing rate of diagnoses of endometrial cancer,” said Gardner. “And that issue is particularly important amongst communities of color — where the diagnoses are frequently associated with a high grade of aggressive cell types.”
Gardner encourages those with uteruses to be mindful of abnormal vaginal bleeding, regarding the disease’s symptoms.
“That could be heavy bleeding every month, bleeding between periods, or any type of bleeding after menopause — even something like light staining or spotting,” the doctor said. “Anything that’s a change for a woman in terms of her bleeding pattern should raise a level of concern and prompt a visit to their healthcare provider.”
While there are many reasons why one may experience unexpected vaginal bleeding, Gardner emphasized that “an office biopsy can find endometrial cancer early, when it’s most treatable, or even the pre-cancer cells.”
She further advised on the importance of seeing a gynecologic oncologist specialist to the best of your ability if you’re diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Due to their training, they’ll be able to evaluate the disease’s status, cell type, and give you information on the most advanced and up-to-date treatment options.
“I want to make sure I’m covering my sisters and encouraging them to take care of themselves,” Good said of her involvement in the Spot Her campaign. “That’s what I look at a lot of acting as. It’s an opportunity to have a platform so I can do things that are bigger than me.”
Good is participating in the Spot Her virtual walk to encourage people to take literal steps towards increasing awareness about endometrial cancer as part of the campaign. For every mile logged (up to 20 miles per participant) or for each use of #SpotHerforEC on social media, Eisai Inc. will donate $1 (up to $20,000) between FORCE and SHARE to support those living with endometrial cancer.
The Spot Her virtual walk will take place from March 30 – June 22, and Charity Footprints is offering free registration to the first 1,000 participants.
“I just want to encourage and help other women have the same outcome I did,” Good said. “It’s important to remind each other that we’re all in this together, and that we be our sister’s keepers.”
To participate in the virtual walk, visit www.CharityFootprints.com/SpotHerForEC to register, and join the conversation online by using #SpotHerforEC on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Read more about the Spot Her campaign here.
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