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ANGELs Fight Breast Cancer with Education

All women are at risk for breast cancer. However, statistics show that although breast cancer incidence among African American women is relatively low, their mortality rate is much higher compared to women of other races. To help reverse this trend, Mercy adopted a local chapter of the African American Women Nurturing and Giving Each Other Life (ANGEL) Network in 2005.

Mercy’s ANGEL Network focuses on reducing the number of breast cancer deaths among area African American women through early-detection programs, screening access and breast health education. Modeled after a successful program originating in Colorado Springs, the network is supported in part by a grant from the Northeast Ohio affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Approximately 75 locally trained “ANGELs” are spreading lifesaving messages about appropriate breast care.

As a breast cancer survivor, ANGEL Vickie Hogan knows firsthand the importance of breast health. “When I speak one-to-one with another African American woman, I’m not a medical professional trying to teach her something,” she said. “I’m a person, just like her, and I can share my experiences.”

“Mercy’s ANGEL volunteers are making a difference,” said Diane Wofsey, RN, BSN, Mercy Breast Care Center Coordinator. “We’re seeing more African American women coming in for their mammograms, and we know that’s a direct result of the ministry and commitment these volunteers share to reduce breast cancer deaths in our community.”

For more information about Mercy’s ANGEL Network, please call 330-580-4727.

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