For the sixth year in a row, Moffitt’s M-Power Program for Outreach, Wellness, Education and Resources held an informational and moving Ladies Night in October to educate women from around the country about the importance of breast cancer screenings, treatment and overall health. As there is a significant disparity in outcomes for Black/African American women with breast cancer, this was an important event for raising awareness and sharing knowledge that could make a meaningful difference for women of color.
More than 100 households tuned in to the virtual event to hear from Moffitt researchers and physicians, as well as patients and survivors, to learn about early signs and symptoms, preventive measures and support services for those facing this disease.
"This is the second year that we held the event virtually and the first year that we worked with women in the community to serve as watch party hostesses," said Chantel Griffin-Stampfer, manager of M-POWER. "We called these watch parties our PINK Parties and hope that they provided an opportunity for community members who otherwise may not have had access as well as an opportunity for some ladies in the community to enjoy the informational program together in a party atmosphere."
Moffitt's Senior Director of Diversity, Cathy Grant, engaged the audience throughout the event as emcee. Viewers also had the unique opportunity to hear from spoken word poets Michelle Morton and Tiffani Vitale, as well as Charmaine Jennings, who had her own experience with breast cancer. You can watch them perform their jointly-written "Pink Champions," dedicated to every Pink Warrior fighting breast cancer and their support teams, online here.
"Early detection is key to saving lives."- Chantel Griffin-Stampfer
Moffitt physicians Nazanin Khakpour, MD, FACS, Avan Armaghani, MD, and Kimberley Lee, MD, MHS, then hosted a panel discussion about breast cancer research and current treatments available at the cancer center. Armaghani and Lee are both medical oncologists in Moffitt’s breast department, while Khakpour’s expertise lies in surgery. Together, they offered a well-rounded perspective on different aspects of screening, prevention and treatment.
Audience members also were inspired by Cheryl Office, a metastatic breast cancer survivor who shared her courageous story. Metastatic breast cancer can be an especially challenging diagnosis for a woman to receive.
Tasha Swafford rounded out the night by presenting cancer signs and symptoms to look for in your hair, skin and nails. She is the manager of Magnolias Salon, a full-service hair and wig salon at Moffitt where patients can receive compassionate hair enhancement support, as well as fittings for breast prostheses or breast forms.
"The most important message of the evening is, and always has been, to encourage and empower women, particularly women of color, to keep up with their mammogram," Griffin-Stampfer said.