This post was originally published on St. Louis American

By Isaiah Peters

Singer/songwriter Ciara uses her platform to spread information to fight against Black women’s health disparities.

In the op-ed Ciara for NBC, she wrote Black women are twice as likely to get cervical cancer as white women. The inequity has tragically been a historical trend.

“Out of necessity, Black women have traditionally led the way when it comes to prioritizing self-care, and cervical health is no different,” she said. 

Following a member of her team being diagnosed with cervical cancer, she examined the extent of the health crisis and wanted to share her take on what women can do.

“There is no reason we can’t dramatically decrease the rate of 14,000 women in the U.S. diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, or the almost one-third as many who die of it,” Ciara said.

Ciara’s op-ed highlighted that “cervical cancer is among the most preventable of all cancers” and is also “among the most treatable when it’s detected early.”

“The good news is that she [her team member] prioritized her self-care and got screened,” she said. “The even better news is because of early detection, her cancer was treatable, and today she is thriving.”

Early detection requires women to undergo regular Pap tests at age 21 and then regular Pap and HPV (human papillomavirus) tests at 30.

“It’s time for us to champion a new narrative — one driven by confidence and strength that extends, rather than ends, a healthy and joyful life,” Ciara wrote.

The original op-ed can be found here.