Singer-turned-businesswoman Ciara is raising awareness for cervical cancer in Black women in a new ad campaign.
CBS News is reporting that the star has teamed up with Project Health Equality and the Black Women’s Health Imperative for their “Cerving Confidence” campaign.
You can check out Ciara’s contribution to the campaign below.
“I want to encourage women to understand the importance in this case how you can serve confidence and get ahead of everything. The cool thing is you can prevent cervical cancer. How amazing is that?” Ciara said to CBS. “Go out there and make an appointment. Put yourself first, you have to. Putting yourself first is everything. Then you can take off and be your best self in every way possible.”
According to the Jackson Health System, cervical cancer tends to happen most often in Hispanic women. However, approximately 2,000 Black women a year are diagnosed with the disease, and of the 2,000 diagnosed, about 40 percent will die from the disease. Black women also have higher mortality rates than women of any other race — and are twice as likely to die from the disease as white women.
The sad part is, it doesn’t need to be this way — cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers out there, with routine testing (via a Pap smear) and vaccination playing an integral part in treatment and cure.
The most infamous case of cervical cancer in Black women is the case of Henrietta Lacks, who was forever immortalized in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. In 1951, at the age of 31-years-old, Lacks died of cervical cancer — and her cultured cancer cells (known as the HeLa cells) continue to be used in scientific research today. In fact, the HeLa cells were most recently used, in 2021, to develop the COVID-19 vaccines (and her descendants haven’t received a dime in compensation).
Today, though, Ciara hopes that this initiative will prevent future Henrietta Lacks cases from happening in Black women.
“All of us women need each other. I think it’s also incredible to know the disparities in the Black community and to know how — we really have everything that we need to thrive and survive. Everything we need is rooted in this,” Ciara said.