Residents of New Jersey expect expert care when they visit their doctors. No woman should have problems getting the treatment they need when they discover they have breast cancer. Unfortunately, Black women face certain barriers in that area.
Black women are disproportionately diagnosed
Breast cancer affects women of all different races, religions, cultures, creeds and even ages, but Black women are disproportionately affected. While they have a lower rate of developing the disease than women of other races, their rate of diagnosis is lower. At the same time, they are also more likely to die from the disease.
Various social aspects contribute to Black women facing difficulties in being diagnosed with breast cancer. Some of those issues are socioeconomic status, lack of insurance and mistrust of doctors and other medical professionals. This leaves them at a distinct disadvantage, which could result in a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
A delayed diagnosis can be deadly. Breast cancer is one of the most easily treatable types of cancers, but in its earliest stages. If a woman is diagnosed late, it could prevent her from getting the treatment that she needs. Black women are twice as likely as white women to experience this problem.
Lack of representation in clinical trials
Black women are underrepresented in clinical trials, so it’s unknown how new drugs will affect them. This includes certain cancer medications typically given to white women involved in clinical trials. It’s possible they might experience different side effects that don’t impact white women or those of other races.
Women should be proactive and be their own advocates. Self-breast exams are important, and getting annual mammograms after age 40 is a good preventive measure. If a lump is detected, immediately following up might save a woman’s life.