WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s initiative to spur cancer prevention and treatment received a dose of celebrity support Monday as singer Mary J. Blige joined Jill Biden and the American Cancer Society to announce national meetings on breast cancer. breast and cervix.
The cancer society pledged to call the events after President Joe Biden and the first lady revived the “cancer moonshot” initiative earlier this year. The program provides more money for research to, as Jill Biden put it, “help us end cancer as we know it. For good.
RThe &B superstar Blige said she lost aunts and other family members to breast, cervical and lung cancer. She has promoted breast cancer screening, especially among black women who are disproportionately affected, through the Black Women’s Health Imperative.
Blige on Monday blamed misconceptions about mammograms among black women and “the practice of not wanting other people in our business” for disparities in breast cancer outcomes between blacks and whites.
She said she was convinced that if her aunts, godmother and grandparents had been informed about cancer, “today they would have a different outcome.” She paused a few times to keep her composure.
The first lady caught up with Blige as the Grammy Award-winning singer returned to her seat. They sat hand in hand for several minutes before Biden, whose adult son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015, thanked Blige for “lending her powerful voice to this cause.”
The first lady said the administration’s cancer initiative will help foster collaboration and research, invest in new treatments and therapies, and help people get the best care and support for their loved ones.
He said it’s about creating “a future where we no longer have to fear the word cancer.”
The American Cancer Society said the roundtables will bring together doctors, scientists and other professionals with leading organizations to work toward progress against cancer. They will start this week, said Karen Knudsen, executive director.
Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women and is the No. 1 cause of death for Black and Latina women. More than 14,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths, she said.
Knudsen said the meetings will work to “end breast and cervical cancer as we know it for all of us.”
Since becoming first lady, Jill Biden has traveled the country to learn about advances in cancer research and encourage people, especially women, to catch up on the screening tests they skipped during the pandemic.
Her cancer advocacy began in the 1990s, after four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer.