Cheryl Holloway, PhD, and program director for the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program at South University in Novi, Michigan, is a two-time breast cancer survivor whose book, “The Black Woman’s Breast Cancer Survival Guide, Understanding and Healing in the face of a Nationwide Crisis” was just published by Praeger, ABC-CLIO.
Holloway also teaches courses on women and minority health issues and public health and wellness. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Holloway discovered that Black women have a higher risk than women of other races and ethnicities for aggressive forms of breast cancer that can occur before a woman’s 40th birthday. In fact, Holloway was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 39 years old.
A long-time volunteer for the American Cancer Society and a fervent supporter of mammograms for women, Holloway decided to investigate how breast cancer affects Black women. As a Black woman herself, she understands that some women are fearful of the health care system and reticent about asking questions. Yet Black women urgently need answers so they can obtain the best treatments for their diagnosis, whatever type of breast cancer they may have. Holloway discovered that some Black women likely don’t obtain mammograms or cancer treatment because cancer centers are far from their homes and they may not realize transportation help is available. She also discovered some women are fatalistic about their cancer, refusing to receive treatment. Holloway says simply that God made oncologists to help women with breast cancer.