Thu, 09 Feb 2023 09:40:00 GMT
Black women with breast cancer have a 40% higher death rate than white women. Despite this, nothing exists that shows breast cancer on darker skin – until now. Love & Nudes has created The Stage Zero Collection, the world’s first breast cancer screening bras for Black women, designed to help them recognise breast cancer’s symptoms even before Stage One of the disease.
Designed to draw awareness to and directly address the disparity in the treatment of breast cancer for Black women, the capsule collection of bra inserts visually highlight the various ways breast cancer symptoms can appear in women of colour – consumers can touch, see and feel lumps, peau d’orange (swelling that can indicate inflammatory breast cancer), and unique discolouration on each bra. Created in partnership with McCann Toronto and esteemed breast surgical oncologist Dr. Mojola Omola, The Stage Zero Collection gives awareness education on what it feels like to discover a lump in the breast.
“Breast cancer diagnostic and educational tools are generally designed with only white skin in mind,” said Chantal Carter, founder of Love & Nudes. “All the examination guides report redness as a sign of breast cancer. Unfortunately, discoloration doesn’t look the same on darker skin tones like mine.”
Dr. Mojola Omole, the surgical oncologist and chief medical officer on the design project, says The Stage Zero Collection is just the start to improving outcomes for Black women experiencing breast cancer. “There’s a need to push for change in current health policies,” she said. “1 in 6 breast cancer cases occur in women under 50,” added Dr. Omole. “Black women under 50 with breast cancer have a mortality rate double that of white women in the same age group. Because Black women are predisposed to early-onset triple-negative breast cancer, it’s clear that it’s time to change the guidelines on the breast cancer screening age for cancer.”
“Creating this collection at first seemed like an impossible task,” said Olivia Hashka – one of the creative minds behind the initiative. “We first had to find a doctor who could inform us what breast cancer discolouration looked like on Black women. There wasn’t any public information available.” The team found Dr. Mojola Omole – a breast surgical oncologist – and then worked closely with her to develop the look and feel of the attachments in painstaking medical detail. “We really needed to get this right. We weren’t making an ad; we were creating a tool that could save lives. We didn’t have the benefit of years of research and funding. We needed to act fast, but accurately,” said Jon Dick – the project’s co-creator.
Once the team developed the design, they had to 3D print the collection’s parts, and then cast the product’s lumps to mimic what it feels like in real life. After multiple trials and well over a year and a half in production, the team finally got a makeup artist to add the finishing touches to The Stage Zero Collection, and of course one last approval from Dr. Omole.
Black women on average start to show symptoms for breast cancer at age 40, but the breast cancer screening age in most Canadian provinces is 50 – so Love & Nudes is starting a movement to lower the screening age and save even more lives.
The campaign was unveiled on World Cancer Day (February 4th), during Black History Month, alongside a Stage Zero Collection petition to lower the national screening age. To lend your voice to the petition please visit here.
Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, AwarenessMcCann Canada, Thu, 09 Feb 2023 09:40:00 GMT