African American women have historically been underrepresented in research studies, so it's not surprising that African American women can be tough to find when patients look through healthcare brochures at the doctor's office.
"In my work as a breast health advocate, I've observed women's knowledge about breast health and breast cancer being significantly impacted by the visual images they've seen," said Lisa Hayes, who is the executive director of RED Alliance. "For instance, a woman told me she thought breast cancer was mostly a middle-aged white woman's disease, because that was who she usually saw in ads about breast cancer walks or other fundraising events. Another woman, after seeing a booklet in a surgeon's office about breast reconstruction, asked whether black women get those kind of surgeries because the pictures in the booklet were all of white women."
After hearing about those issues, researchers at IU School of Medicine started collaborating with their community partners, RED Alliance and Pink 4 Ever, to eliminate that disparity as part of the IU Precision Health Initiative (PHI) triple negative breast cancer study.