Acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Julianne Malveaux, PhD, the president of the Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, recently wrote an editorial for about the plight black women face with breast cancer. Malveaux writes that while millions of women have been wearing pink ribbons and organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure raise millions of dollars a year to find a cure, there is still much to do, concerning the impact of breast cancer on African-American women.

While black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than white women, Malveaux writes that they are almost twice as likely to die from the disease. “African-American women often are diagnosed with breast cancer when they are younger, and when African-American women under 55 are diagnosed with breast cancer; it is more likely to have deadlier effects. Researchers are studying the reasons why African-American women are so much more vulnerable than other women are to breast cancer, ” she writes.

But Malveaux also indicates that African-American women’s lack of access to health care makes this issue even more devastating. “Sisters must be among those sporting pink ribbons, but beyond the pink ribbons, we must all be passionate advocates for increased health care access, especially in the African-American community.”

Read Malveaux’s editorial in its entirety here.