DeBorrah Carter – Founder and Executive Director

Dear Sassy Reader,

Welcome to Sassy Survivor Breast Health Alliance. Whew, what an awesome time Sassy Survivor Breast Health Alliance had during the month of October. We presented Breast Health and Breast Cancer seminars to over 400 women in Southern California, participated in several conferences provided by a number of organizations and began Patient Navigation for a newly diagnosed woman with a rare Breast Cancer. God is so Good!

Now, as we approach the holiday season, we do not want to forget that Breast Health and Breast Cancer is still a priority. If you have not gotten your annual mammogram for 2021, please make an appointment. It may be a challenge to get a mammogram in November or December, but make the appointment for the first available date! As you are considering gifts for your loved ones, consider giving them a “Reminder” card so they too will schedule a mammogram. Don’t forget, in this hectic season to take care of yourself and do those Self Breast Exams as well.

Added to the site are more articles including “Black Men Have Higher Rates of all Types of Breast Cancer” and “Bathsheba’s Breast. Did you know that Breast Cancer is thousands of years old! That article includes some new technologies as well as questions to ask your doctor before having surgery. In coming months, the questions to ask will be expanded, so be on the lookout for those.

Let’s focus on our body, mind and spirit. I’m going to challenge each of us, in January 2022 to make some tangible changes to what we eat, moving our bodies and developing a stronger spiritual life. Let’s make it fun and see what magnificent Blessings will come through the challenge.

As always, I Thank God for you and continue to keep you “Aware”. Questions, call me at 909.731.2169 or email Sasisurvivor@sassysurvivor.com

Stay safe and be Blessed during this season.


Sassy Survivor Breast Health Alliance is a Non-Profit 501(C)3 Organization
Donations help to provide services to Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors 

#BreastHealthAwae #BreastCancerSurvivor #BreastCancer #StaySassy

For Donations, please Zelle to SassySurvivorBHA@gmail.com or you may click on the Donate Button below to donate, using your debit or credit card.

Sassy Survivor Breast Alliance would like to thank you in advance.

Dedicated Survivor

26944493I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Dr. Robina M. Smith, an Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, at St. Jude Heritage Group. I was riveted by her story and the decisions that she has made to be where she is today. Dr. Robina (as I like to call her) started her college experience as an Art Major. During one semester, she had the auspicious opportunity to meet a doctor and graduate of the medical illustration technique penned by Max Brödel, the creator and founder of the first Medical Illustration School at Johns Hopkins in the early 1900’s.

Dr. Robina’s career took a sharp turn. Dr. Robina, having a love of science and a gift for art saw the opportunity to combine her two talents and decided to become a medical illustrator herself. Next turn, while observing a surgery of which she was to sketch an illustration of, she was so fascinated by the surgery, her sketch was never completed. When asked by the instructor why her sketch was not completed, she replied “I was too busy.” Further queried, she said she was too busy observing the surgery to sketch the surgery. On a trip to a clinic where she observed a reception room filled with African American women waiting to be treated and no doctor who looked like them, she prayed and the Lord affirmed her choice. But there was another twist. About a month before Dr. Robina was to enter medical school, she was in a horrific automobile accident. Her car was run completely over by an 18 wheeler tractor-trailer. No one who saw the accident expected anyone to be alive. Her car was completely crushed. But God! There was one little pocket of space inside that completely crushed and demolished car, where the future Dr. Robina Smith was curled up! Angels had surrounded her because they knew the mission and purpose that had been laid out for her. She told the Lord, “I know why I was spared and I know what I am to do.” Hence the world has been blessed with this doctor who places God first, seeks His guidance and wisdom to save and restore women’s bodies and esteem that have been impacted by Breast Cancer.

Her years as a freelance Medical Illustrator and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon has given her an unusually broad base experience with which she can effectively communicate, diagnose and remedy a woman’s complex problem.

She currently is the only fellowship-trained Breast Surgeon at St Jude Medical Center and the Physician liaison to the Commission On Cancer from the American College of Surgeons. She holds membership positions on the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Society of Breast Disease, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Association of Woman Surgeons, Association of Black Women Physicians, Cambridge Whos Who and The Denise Roberts Breast Cancer Foundation. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Medical degree from MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine, Surgical residency from New York Methodist Hospital, and Breast fellowship from the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Robina founded Treasure Your Chest, Inc. a nonprofit organization that educates and brings awareness of the risks for Breast cancer and breast disease for African American women. If her plate wasn’t full enough, she still had room to be the co-director of the Women’s Health and Fitness Ministry at Antioch Church of Long Beach. Dr. Robina is full of God’s love and His compassion as I have been blessed to witness myself. She is a God-fearing woman with passion and compassion for helping and healing. Anyone being blessed with her presence can see and feel her love for the Lord and her love for helping women through their journey with Breast Cancer. Never too busy to educate, she is an accomplished speaker and presenter.


Sassy Resource List

  1. SassySurvivor.com
  2. www.cabwhp.org Non-profit organization for improving the health of California’s Black women and girls through education, policy, outreach, and advocacy. (new)
  3. www.triplestepforthecure.org (Triple Negative Breast Cancer) (new)
  4. www.nmanet.org (the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians committed to the elimination of health disparities)
  5. www.celebratinglife.org (Breast Cancer Awareness for African American women and women of color
  6. www.lbbc.org (Living Beyond Breast Cancer)
  7. www.cancer.gov (National Cancer Institute) 1.800.4.CANCER
  8. www.sistersnetworkinc.org (National African American cancer survivors organization)
  9. www.chemotherapy.com
  10. www.komenlacounty.org (Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County) The goal is to have 50 people on the team.
  11. www.komen.org (The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation)
  12. www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society) 1.800.ACS.2345
  13. www.blackwomenshealth.com
  14. www.bwwla.com (Black Women for Wellness) (new)
  15. www.aabcainc.org (African American Breast Cancer Alliance for Men and Women –Minnesota) (new)
  16. www.avonbreastcare.org
  17. www.celebratelifecm.org (Celebrate Life Cancer Ministry, Los Angeles, CA)
  18. www.nabco.org (National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations)
  19. www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/about/cancerlegalresource.cfm The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The CLRC provides free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues (new)
  20. https://www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program. Please make sure to read through and complete the entire application. You will also need to obtain a letter from your medical provider confirming diagnosis and treatment (this must be on letterhead). Once complete, send the entire application to TreatmentAssistance@Komen.org  OR P.O. Box 801889 Dallas, TX 75380. For assistance with the application or for more information, contact 1-972-866-4233 or TreatmentAssistance@Komen.org
  21. Blackdoctor.org
  22. Needy Meds – provides information on how to provide pharmaceutical assistance programs. You can visit them at www.needymeds.org or you can call them at 800-503-6897
  23. Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation – provides assistance for treatment for under or uninsured patients, such as medications, tests, transportation to and from treatment, and other financial burdens. Please visit them at http://www.christinaswalshbcf.org/Our%20Services.html or call them at (732) 853-7910.
  24. Provision Project provides financial assistance for breast cancer patients who are in need to pay medical expenses, utilities, gas/travel, or general living expenses. Applications are only accepted from the 1st to the 10th of each month. Please visit  http://provisionproject.org/application/
  25. Remember Betty assists in minimizing the financial burden associated with breast cancer for patients and survivors by providing direct financial support. Please visit http://rememberbetty.com/grant-application/    Applications are accepted from the 1st through the 7th of each month only.
  26. Cancer Recovery Foundation – provides financial assistance for rent and utilities, community and educational resources to individuals diagnosed with cancer. You can visit the website at  https://cancerrecovery.org/programs-for-cancer-recovery/womens-cancer-fund/program-guidelines/
  27. DONNA CareLine provides case management services for caregivers and patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer. You can reach them at 1-877-236-6626  or go to http://DONNA.pafcareline.org. They have insurance and healthcare experts for breast cancer patients experiencing access to care issues.
  28. Cancer Warrior, Inc– helps patients receive financial support for the treatment of their choice. or You can reach them at 702-546-8575 or visit their website at https://www.cancerwarriorinc.org/apply They were anticipated to begin accepting applications on February 18, 2021.
  29. Breast Cancer Angels – provides temporary financial assistance to eligible patients in Los Angeles County who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of their treatment. You can contact them directly at 714-898-8900 or you can visit https://www.breastcancerangels.org/

Sassy Survivor Photo Gallery

Eat Collards and Carrots For Your Cancer


By Lynne Peeples

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Eating lots of carrots and cruciferous vegetables — collard greens, cabbage, broccoli — could reduce breast cancer risk, particularly an aggressive form common among African American women, suggests a large new study.

The researchers looking at data from the ongoing Black Women’s Health Study did not find a similar benefit from fruit intake.

Previous studies of the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and breast cancer in white women have led to conflicting results, and no prior research has investigated this link separately among African American women, lead researcher Dr. Deborah A. Boggs, of Boston University, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.

Boggs noted her team’s earlier work showing that a so-called “prudent diet” high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish led to a lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers among African American women.

The ER-negative form of breast cancer, which is insensitive to the hormone estrogen, is more common in this population than among white women. It is also more difficult to treat and more often fatal than estrogen-sensitive cancers.

Overall, breast cancer is the second leading cancer-killer for both African American and white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 1 in 8 American women will develop the disease at some point in life, although age, heredity and environmental factors can increase an individual’s risk.

Boggs and her colleagues wanted to find out whether fruits and vegetables drove the beneficial effect they saw in women eating the prudent diet and whether specific varieties are particularly protective.

They tracked the diets and health of more than 50,000 African American women from across the U.S. for 12 years. About 1,300 of the women developed new cases of breast cancer during that period, 35 percent of them ER-negative.

The researchers found, however, that women who ate at least two servings of vegetables a day had a 43 percent lower risk of ER-negative breast cancer compared with women who ate fewer than four servings of vegetables each week.

Further, they identified certain types of vegetables that appeared to reduce the risk of all types of breast cancer, including broccoli, collard greens, cabbage and carrots.

Women who ate three or more servings a week of carrots, for instance, had a 17 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate carrots less than once a month.

The results for all vegetables held after accounting for other potential breast cancer risk factors, such as physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and education level, as well as consumption of other components of the prudent diet, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Still, it is too early to determine if this is a true cause-and effect-relationship, they note. High vegetable consumption could mark a healthier lifestyle in general or some other unknown mechanism that accounts for the apparent protection. Vegetables’ cancer-staving power needs to be confirmed in further studies, the researchers write.

“Most Americans do not meet the recommendation of five servings of vegetables per day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and African Americans in particular eat fewer vegetables on average than do whites,” said Boggs.

“It is clear that, in addition to potential protective effects against breast cancer, higher vegetable consumption can lead to many health benefits, including lower risk of cardiovascular disease,” she added. “Therefore, we recommend that African American women try to increase their daily intake of vegetables to meet the established guidelines.”

SOURCE: http://link.reuters.com/pyf69p American Journal of Epidemiology, online October 11, 2010.

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