Augusta, Georgia (WRDW / WAGT)-You may know someone who is or is fighting breast cancer. However, a brand new I-TEAM study found that her chances of survival could depend on her skin color.
As our Meredith Anderson revealed, it’s not entirely due to genetics.
1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her life – 1 in 8 women. That applies to both white and black women. CDC data show that it occurs at the same rate, but is it mortality? I-TEAM found that the data tell a very different story, especially for black women in our area.
As a working mom, Angela Prince always puts everyone else first.
“I was busy, you know,” she said. “I sent the kids around by bus and made sure they were fine. Make sure my husband was fine. Still go home and take care of everything. . “
Looks like everything, but even when she finds a lump on her right chest, she herself.
“So I was, it’s probably nothing. And I was too busy to make a doctor appointment, it’s crazy, isn’t it?” She said.
Sure, she thinks it’s weird now, but at the time she thought she wouldn’t have time to let go of her job.
“Well, I think I have time to go to the hospital, so I made a promise,” she said.
The size of the orange wasn’t “nothing”, so the lump turned out. It was breast cancer and was quite advanced.
“It’s stage 4. It spread to my lungs. It was in my lymph nodes,” she said.
Treatment had to be aggressive. Angela received two mastectomy followed by radiation therapy and six chemotherapy.
“I don’t know if you noticed, but I love my hair,” she said. “And it was my signature that I always have big curly hair. And when it started to fall … I’m sorry. I cry. I lost a part of myself. And you know Yes, it’s very superficial. Hair is, right? “
When it was all gone, she decided not to wear a wig and make her bald head her new signature.
“”At that time I was 43 years old. I was pretty young to get breast cancer, “she said.
Not according to research at UNC Chapel Hill. Researchers have found a pattern of breast cancer in which white patients peak in their 60s, while non-white patients peak in their 40s.
“There are some areas with the lowest breast cancer mortality rates in the region,” said Dr. Michelle Reis.
That’s why Dr. Michelle Reis says he moved to Augusta last year to lead breast imaging at AU.
“For most women across the country, the biggest killer cancer killer is lung cancer. Not here, if you’re black. If you’re a black woman in Augusta, breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death. We need to do something about it, “she said.
Black women are already facing a difficult breast cancer fight. I-TEAM analyzed CDC data and found that its mortality rate was 40 percent higher than that of white women. Moreover, the American Cancer Society says that the most deadly of all breast cancers is triple-negative breast cancer. It is common among women “African-American under the age of 40”.
As a result, I-TEAM began digging into treatment options and discovered in April last year that the FDA had accelerated approval of a new drug.
Trodelvy’s clinical trials look promising, but they stand out. 76% of the patients who participated in the clinical trial were Caucasian. Only 7 percent were pointed out as “black or African American.” We continued to delve into it and found that the same was true for all clinical trials, regardless of drug. According to the FDA, only 8% of all patients were black in all trials in 2020. From 2015 to 2019, only 7% were black.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lee states that breast cancer screening requirements mostly rely on data collected from a pool of white patients.
“That is, in effect, the recommendations of the US Preventive Medicine Commission are like racists, aren’t they? They don’t consider how black women exist against whites,” she said. Said.
Researchers at Harvard University have found that race-independent age-based screening guidelines can further note that colored races can be adversely affected. They suggest considering “lowering the screening age for non-white groups.”
“I’m crying every day at work. And I’m pretty stoic. But when I see a young woman pregnant, she has a huge cancer in her breasts. It’s just a lot for everyone. It’s too sad. That’s really sad, “she said.
And does this happen a lot?
“Yeah,” she said.
But it doesn’t have to keep happening.
“It can spread everywhere, as you know, and I could have died,” Prince said.
When Angela’s hair began to recover, her storm ended with a rainbow of pink, purple, blue, and red. Bold reminders to the other busy women you’re looking at are never too busy for you to take care of yourself.
“Someone needs to hear this message, and I don’t know who it is. If it saves one person, I’ve done my job,” she says. I did.
Five years later, Angela’s chest still has a port to take medicine about once every three weeks. She also says that she has side effects from chemotherapy, but otherwise she feels good. This is great to hear and remember that if you have insurance, you are supposed to have full coverage of your mammogram.
If not insured, Dr. Lee says AU has a program that can help you get insured for free. You can also get a free risk assessment to see how old you need to start screening. Some high-risk women need to start in their twenties, so it’s important to know when it’s right for you. It can save your life.
Copyright 2021 WRDW / WAGT. all rights reserved.
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