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A lifesaver for Black women and breast cancer

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Breast cancer strikes women and males of all ages and races. White women are barely extra prone to get breast cancer — but, black women are 40% extra prone to die from the illness.

While researchers aren’t precisely certain why there may be such a putting disparity, some say it could possibly be that fewer minorities are conscious of their hereditary breast cancer danger, and solely a really small share bear genetic testing. Ivanhoe has steps that women of colour ought to contemplate to decrease their danger and save lives.

Neonatal intensive care nurse Kimyatta Frazier feels empowered in her job serving to preemies get wholesome.

“I take care of them from the time they’re born until the time they go home with their families,” defined Frazier.

But in her personal life, Frazier might do little or no as she watched one relative after one other, after one other battle breast cancer.

Frazier says, “My mother just passed away from breast cancer. Her sister is currently dealing with stage four triple-negative breast cancer. She lost her older sister to breast cancer and my grandmother, her mother also had breast cancer.”

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Three aunts on her father’s aspect all had breast cancer.

“It’s in multiple generations, there’s a lot of affected people,” explains Dana Farengo-Clark, MS Senior Genetic Counselor on the University of Pennsylvania.

With genetic testing, technicians take an individual’s blood or saliva and look for mutations. With testing, sufferers like Frazier can take preventive measures in the event that they check constructive for a gene mutation.

“We may want to screen your breasts more frequently. We may want to do a colonoscopy earlier than you would’ve needed,” Farengo-Clark says.

A very low share of black women pursue genetic testing, partly due to widespread misconceptions.

“One is that, you know, this is specialty medicine and you have to be sort of, you know, rich or famous to get this testing — not true at all,” states Farengo-Clark.

Most insurance coverage now covers genetic testing. Over the previous decade, the price of the testing has dropped to about $250 and generally as little as $100. Despite her sturdy household historical past, none of Frazier’s docs really helpful genetic testing till she requested about it.

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“It’s not painful. It’s nothing bad. It can very well save your life or extend your life,” says Frazier.

Despite Frazier’s household historical past, her check got here again adverse for mutations within the BRCA one and BRCA two genes, in addition to quite a lot of different breast cancer genes on the panel. Genetic counselor Farengo-Clark says Frazier will nonetheless obtain extra frequent screenings. A mammogram or breast MRI each six months as an alternative of each year due to her household historical past.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/breast_ovarian_cancer/testing.htm https://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/race_ethnicity https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2019/ovarian-breast-cancer-testing-inherited-genetic-mutations https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-highlights/breast-cancer-research-highlights/black-women-need-genetic-testing-for-breast-cancer-too.html https://www.facingourrisk.org/support/insurance-paying-for-care/genetic-services/financial-assistance#:~:text=FORCE’s%20toll%2Dfree%20helpline%3A%20866,a%20genetic%20counselor%20near%20you https://www.basser.org/genetic-testing-counseling/insurance-costs

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Contributor(s) to this information report embrace: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer and Roque Correa, Editor.

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