By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Oct 01, 2021 at 4:01 PM

When the ninth annual iHeartMedia Milwaukee’s V100.7 Sista Strut takes place on Saturday its mission will be multifaceted.

The three-mile walk, presented by Froedtert & The Medical College, aims to heighten awareness about breast cancer in women of color and provide information on community resources while honoring and uniting anyone currently or previously affected by breast cancer. 

Recently, we checked in with Dr. Chandler Cortina, Breast Surgical Oncologist with Froedtert & MCW Clinical Cancer, to find out more about why Sista Strut is so integral, particularly to the African American community.

OnMilwaukee: Are Black women at higher risk of getting breast cancer than White women?

Dr. Chandler Cortina: Currently, African American women are more likely to develop hormone receptor negative breast cancer – also called triple negative breast cancer. This type of cancer currently does not have targeted therapy so unfortunately is a higher-mortality cancer.

Do we know what the reasons for this are?

Very intelligent researchers have done extensive research why. There's a possible genetic component, but the exact component is yet to be elucidated.  But we do know that health disparities exist for different populations including transportation issues – lack of access to insurance or difficulty taking time off from work – and these things contribute to lower screening rates for African American communities.

In short, there are multiple issues at play and we need to figure out how to make that better for women of color from the time of screening to diagnosis to the time of treatment.

Is it true early detection saves lives?

Yes, 100 percent. Early detection of breast cancer is extremely important in determining survival. We know from national data if breast cancer is detected early, and it is only in the breast, the five year survival rate is 99 percent. The best time to detect breast cancer is before you can feel it.

What age should someone start getting mammograms?

The recommended age is 40, however if there is a family history of breast cancer, or any cancer, it is sometimes screened for in patients younger than 40.

Why did Froedert choose to participate in V100.7’s Sista Strut?

This event is really important to not only get the word out about screening for breast cancer, but also to highlight the survivors of breast cancer and those patients going through it currently. It’s a process and we want the community to know we are with them, every step of the way. Yes, we want people to get screened and treated, but we’re still here for them after that.

To find out more about Sista Strut here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.