Increasing Representation and Amplifying the Patient Voice: Tigerlily Foundation’s Angel Advocates to Guide MOLLI Surgical’s Washington, D.C., Outreach

By March 23, 2022 Newsroom


MOLLI Surgical, known for its wire-free, radiation-free technology for localization of breast tumors, is collaborating with a new advisory board made up of ANGEL Advocates from the Tigerlily Foundation, a premier global breast cancer foundation focused on providing education, awareness, and advocacy for breast cancer patients. ANGEL Advocates are women between ages 21 and 50 who have been impacted by breast cancer through their own or a loved one’s diagnosis. They are focused on ending disparities and improving outcomes for Black women living with breast cancer. ANGEL Advocates will help provide insight and advocacy in the Washington, D.C., community to further MOLLI Surgical’s commitment to elevating the patient experience.

“We know many women don’t have full access to information about breast surgery technologies that help overcome barriers to care and provide a more patient-centered experience. We’re very excited to work with a group of ANGEL Advocates to make sure our education and outreach reaches all women, including those from under-resourced communities, so they’re aware of their options when it comes to breast localization and can discuss their choices with their doctor,” says Fazila Seker, Ph.D., President and CEO of MOLLI Surgical Inc.

MOLLI Surgical’s FDA-cleared MOLLI® device provides localization of breast cancers using a 3.2 mm marker that can be detected using the MOLLI Wand® and displayed visually with the MOLLI Tablet®. Together, these tools help surgeons locate small, nonpalpable tumors more efficiently and with improved accuracy. Because the MOLLI Marker® can be implanted by a radiologist any time within 30 days of surgery – unlike wire localization, which must occur the same day – patients have more flexibility in scheduling the two procedures when it’s most convenient for them and their surgeon. This is particularly useful for women who lack access to resources, such as childcare or paid medical leave that make medical procedures feasible.

“The MOLLI technology represents excellent progress in making breast-conserving surgery more manageable for women. More options for localization and more flexibility in scheduling means enhanced convenience for the patient to create a timeline around their life demands,” said Maimah Karmo, CEO of Tigerlily Foundation. “Through this advisory board, our ANGEL Advocates will help us get this important message out, creating meaningful engagement amongst women in our community.”

According to the American Cancer Society’s biennial update on female breast cancer in the U.S. released earlier this year, while there has been an overall 42 percent decline in breast cancer deaths over the last 30 years—thanks to gains in awareness, early diagnosis, and treatment—there is a persistent mortality gap between Black women and white women. The death rate remains 40% higher in Black women despite a lower incidence rate. Through continued research, it is becoming increasingly clear that biology also plays a role. Black women are disproportionately affected by more aggressive subtypes, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and inflammatory breast cancer, and they are more likely to be diagnosed at younger ages and at more advanced stages of the disease. That’s why organizations like MOLLI Surgical and the Tigerlily Foundation are focusing on improving breast cancer education and support for these communities.

Through Tigerlily’s ANGEL Advocacy Training Program, the ANGEL Advocates can then work as experts – sharing what they have learned about breast cancer, health disparities, and how to create change through advocacy to their communities, as they work towards health equity. In the case of the MOLLI Advisory Board, five ANGEL Advocates from the Washington, D.C., area will focus on reviewing and refining MOLLI Surgical’s Breast Localization Toolkit, a set of resources provided to patients and breast surgeons to guide communication with their patients. The ANGEL Advocates will learn about the MOLLI device and help direct how the toolkit is distributed. MOLLI Surgical plans to expand the role of the ANGEL Advisory Board in the coming months to support other efforts and communities.

“The input of the ANGEL Advocates will be invaluable. We know MOLLI can tremendously benefit women facing health equity gaps, but we first need to empower them with the knowledge and information they need. This is a wonderful step toward that end,” Seker said.

“It is exciting to see Black women being provided opportunities to bring their lived experiences and creative ideas to the table, as we work to ensure diverse ideas are integrated into every aspect of healthcare delivery, particularly when it comes to ensuring equitable outcomes for the Black population,” Karmo added. “Being able to train the ANGEL Advocates and see them soar and grow into powerful voices and increasing representation brings me great pride and it also is a template for how to educate, empower and amplify the perspectives of communities of color. This type of collaboration also exposes our ANGELS to opportunities in STEM, an area of much needed increased representation of women of color.”

About MOLLI Surgical:
MOLLI Surgical started in the operating room, where surgeons were using dated tools to treat cancer patients — and we knew we could do better. Our surgical wand is precise, easy-to-use and built with the realities of the operating room in mind. More importantly, it is built with patients in mind. Our technology replaces procedures to mark tumors with one that is not only kinder — but more accurate, efficient and cost-effective. MOLLI Surgical is proud to build the advanced equipment that patients prefer to have and that physicians prefer to use. Follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.

About Tigerlily Foundation:
The Tigerlily Foundation is a national breast cancer organization which for over 15 years has provided education, awareness, advocacy and hands-on support to young women (15-45) – before, during and after breast cancer. Tigerlily programs seek to educate and empower women of all backgrounds, including those at heightened risk, those facing health disparities, and those with less access to care. Follow the Tigerlily Foundation on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.