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Topic: Tackling A Racial Gap In Breast Cancer Survival - New York Times

Forum: Black Women with Breast Cancer —

Black Women with Breast Cancer who want to connect.


Posted on: Dec 20, 2013 03:52PM

Alli_FLA wrote:

Found this great article on African-American women and breast cancer.  Thought you all might like. If anyone is still here...lol...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/health/tackling-a-racial-gap-in-breast-cancer-survival.html?hp&smid=tw-share&_r=0

What do you think?

I can certainly relate. I was diagnosed at stage IV. I  was recently laid off and didn't have health insurance when I started to feel signs of breast cancer. I didn't know it was breast cancer at the time but I had severe back pain and tried to heal myself because I didn't have health insurance. I was collecting unemployment and didn't think I would qualify for Medicaid so I spent all my days looking for another job with health insurance. Hoping that I would find one soon. 

Dx 4/19/2013, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2013
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Dec 20, 2013 04:14PM Moderators wrote:

Alli, thank you for posting the link!

We'd also like to point you to the Paying for Your Care section here at the main Breastcancer.org site, where you'll more information for those who are uninsured or underinsured, as well as the many financial and other resources available for women and men dealing with breast cancer. 

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To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Dec 20, 2013 09:46PM Alli_FLA wrote:

Thanks for the info. I have Medicaid now. While in the hospital, someone from the business office helped me apply for Medicaid.  I was also able to get it when I moved to another state. 

Dx 4/19/2013, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2013
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Oct 16, 2017 08:14AM careforcancer-001 wrote:

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that can mutate and raise the risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Knowing the gene status in family allow people manage their life and probably take actions to reduce the risk of breast cancer. A recent study looked at how many African American women diagnosed with breast cancer actually took BRCA testing. It turns out only 27% of the study participants reported having BRCA testing. Any thoughts? What do you think are the major barriers for African American access to BRCA testing ? Jones, T., McCarthy, A.M., Kim, Y., &Armstrong, K. (2017). Predictors of BRCA1/2 genetic testing among Black women with breast cancer: a population-based study. Cancer medicine, 6(7):1787-1798.

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Oct 16, 2017 04:59PM rogam wrote:

I think some of the black women don't have access to healthcare to cover the cost of this test.

Ro Gamble
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Oct 18, 2017 06:42PM careforcancer-001 wrote:

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to pay for both genetic counseling and BRCA testing for women who meet certain criteria, such as a personal history of breast cancer.

Under Medicare's guidelines, BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing is covered for people with a personal history of breast cancer.

32 states Medicaid programs cover BRCA testing for qualifying individuals.


I hope all people concerned about BRCA genetic testing know that.

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Oct 4, 2018 07:06AM Icietla wrote:

Icietla's Husband types this for Icietla.
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Great! Wonderful that the Religious Institutions have been getting involved. I see that some major metropolitan areas have "Super-Churches" with all manner of Professionals volunteering to help out the underserved. They can make a good deal of difference too.

In addition, institutions of another type -- the Schools -- could reach even more persons in need of general learning about breast health and breast disease.

Every person will be affected by this epidemic. Whether or not any particular individuals will have to deal with their own breast cancer diagnoses and treatment/s, through their lives, numerous others in their lives will be so affected.

When I was a little girl in school, the girls were all called out of their classrooms, one classroom at a time, to go to a presentation done by a representative for a leading brand producer of feminine hygiene products. For many of us, that presentation came far too late to be helpful at all. We needed the information, yes, but we had needed it far sooner. Useful and timely breast cancer awareness matters much more than anything of that sort.

There are very good, comprehensive Breast Health Care Centers having well-trained personnel able to generally educate even their non-diseased patients. Many of these Clinics have silicone models of breasts with embedded objects representing some features of the typically more and typically less suspicious type breast lumps. They could instruct on breast self-examination methods. They could generally familiarize the students with typical imaging equipment to be found in such Clinics. They could impress upon the students the importance of regular self-examinations; regular clinical examinations; having regular mammography and/or other appropriate screening; and presently known factors associated with increased risk for breast cancer. Folks also need to know that the tools we have for screening imaging all have their limitations in disease detection. So students could at least learn thereby about the generally more suspicious types of breast lumps, and they could also be cautioned that there may always be found some variations and exceptions to those general characterizations of the lumps more tending towards more and less suspicion.

Why do the Schools not organize and require sufficiently regular Field Trips to these Clinics -- or to the nearest, next-best such type Clinics -- for these purposes for every educable student -- I mean for every educable student, and without regard to their genders and gender identities --, so that all the educable students are reached with the needed education this would give them? As I said, all their lives will be affected by breast cancer. This education could serve them for life, possibly saving many lives by helping lead to earlier diagnoses.

As I recall, I have more than once posted here on BCO links to (fairly recent) reports of breast cancer diagnosed in a six-year-old and an eight-year-old. If I recall correctly, we have since had join us here at BCO a newer member whose first breast cancer diagnosis was at age eleven.

Any Physician (or PA, NP, Nurse, or other Health Care Professional) who tells any (concerned) patient that s/he is too young to have breast disease needs some re-education, at the least.

I appreciate that the Breast Health Clinics have their workweeks-long schedules of serving patients in need of their services. Are there none of them -- or not enough -- nor any of their Health Care Professionals -- who would regularly open up on some weekends and/or holidays to contribute some pro bono publico efforts for this very worthy cause -- to help give children needed education and guidance that could serve them through their lives, possibly even help save their lives? If not, why not? Ask them why not. Ask them often. And is Health Education or Health Information stated or even implied in their Mission Statements? If so, ask that they hold themselves to it. If not, ask why not. Ask as often as it takes. Ask them all the time. Start asking National, State, and County (or National and Provincial) Public Health Authorities why there is no cooperation for this needed education -- needed to help deal with this Public Health Crisis. It is indeed an epidemic that will, in one way and/or other ways, affect the lives of all persons.

Some would object that it might make children afraid of their body parts. As I have pointed out, the lives of all of them will somehow be affected by breast cancer; further, the breast cancers are life-threatening, life-limiting diseases worthy of grave concern and determined, concerted efforts to effectively deal with the epidemic. The World is full of hazards to our well-being. It is the responsibility of all of us to inform and warn the children of threats -- not only but especially the more common threats (this would include breast cancer) -- to their well-being.

My latest (Stage IVB) diagnosis is almost certainly of another distant primary type. To the best of my information and belief, I am still apparently what we call NED as to breast cancer, doubtless thanks to Letrozole. Dx 2/12/2016, ILC, Right, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/25/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 8/2018, Stage IV

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