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Topic: Black Women Less Likely to Take Hormonal Tx as Prescribed

Forum: Black Women with Breast Cancer —

Black Women with Breast Cancer who want to connect.

Posted on: Oct 23, 2018 01:51PM

Moderators wrote:

Black Women Less Likely to Take Hormonal Therapy as Prescribed After Surgery for Breast Cancer
October 22, 2018

Compared to white women, black women diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive disease are less likely to take hormonal therapy every day, as prescribed, or to stop taking the medicine early. Read more...

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Oct 31, 2018 08:57AM Jinx27 wrote:

Thank you for sharing this information, I can't help but wince at the title, it almost sounds like most black patients are non-compliant, which is far from the truth. I was able to read this article and a similar one from NPR.

Whats even more interesting is that I had a personal experience with a Nurse Navigator who insinuated that I wouldn't take my medicine everyday as well, almost like she was told that black women wouldn't be compliant or might have difficulties following directions. Needless to say I was offended.

As a young African American woman who was diagnosed before the age of 40, I can definitely say that the barriers that exist for black women that were listed are correct. Like most women on in this online community, I am challenged everyday with balancing my new life with cancer. I am in chemically induced menopause and have hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings etc.

Im only able to combat these side effects because I have the tools to do so. I believe a lot of African American women need the following,

- an understanding that a lifestyle change is needed in order to increase quality of life and possible lower risk of recurrence.

- understanding that not one prescription fits all and the importance of communicating that effectively to a physician. I recently began to pay out of pocket for name brand Arimidex because I experienced horrible side effects with generic drugs (which is only covered through my medicaid insurance). All of my side effects have subsided. Not everyone can afford to do so however.

- a physician/MO who understands that African American women have stress factors that may not effect the white/caucasian patients.

- personalized/specialized care (creating fitness goals, referring patients to services (perhaps complimentary medicine) to combat side effects.

- Most MOs need unbiased nurse navigators and social workers to support them as well.

I had to do alot legwork and research to piece together a team of my own, a manual lymph node massage therapist, acupuncturist, a gym membership, a cognitive behavioral therapist and stress management. All of which can be covered through my Health Spending account through my employer.

It is my greatest hope that ALL women can have equal access to the same thing, but it's simply not true. Money and socio-economic status plays a LARGE role, unfortunately it was not mentioned in this article.

Dx 9/8/2015, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 3/36 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/17/2015 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Hormonal Therapy 8/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)

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