Here All Year

Educating and Raising Awareness of MBC in Black Women

Help us spread the word… year-round!

Each month, our Here All Year campaign explored a new topic around metastatic breast cancer—from myth and stigma busters, to new research and strategies for improving outcomes. Want to help make a difference for people living with MBC, all year long? Dig deeper into the research, explore the available resources, watch patient stories and share them on your social and email channels.

Educating and Raising Awareness of MBC in Black Women

This month, we’re raising awareness about Metastatic Breast Cancer in Black women and the way this disease disproportionately affects women of color. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from MBC than white women. We’re raising awareness about this disparity by sharing the stories of two Black women living with MBC and circulating infographics that bring attention to the stark difference in health outcomes between Black and white women with MBC.

Social determinants of health contribute to worse health outcomes for Black Americans, but studies in clinical trials suggest genetics may also contribute to the increased mortality rates. A recent study of 35 phase III clinical trials found that Black Americans with prostate and breast cancer had worse outcomes than their white counterparts, despite clinical trial treatment being standardized to follow protocol.
According to 2017 CDC data, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other demographic, due to a combination of factors including systemic bias and less accessibility to affordable preventative care and treatment. Black women are also more likely to have aggressive forms of cancer.
About 15-20% of breast cancers in the US are triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). While anyone can get TNBC, it’s more likely to develop in younger women and Black women. The good news is that chemotherapy appears to be equally effective for Black and white women.
Jamil Rivers was diagnosed with de novo metastatic breast cancer at age 39. She is a Young Advocate Alum and Board Member of Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Board President of METAvivor. She is also a patient advocate member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance and does patient advocacy work with Susan G. Komen. She recently launched The Chrysalis Initiative which provides mentoring, education and resource navigation to women with breast cancer, engages in outreach and education for Black women to assess their breast cancer risk, and training and technology for healthcare professionals to reduce the prevalence of disparities in breast cancer care.
In July 2015, Stephanie Walker was diagnosed with de novo metastatic breast cancer. She is a registered nurse with close to 40 years of clinical practice and secondary teaching experience. Stephanie is a patient advocate member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, Living Beyond Breast Cancer volunteer, Komen volunteer, recipient of the Spirit to Impact award, and member of multiple other non-profit organizations. Her advocacy work began in 2018 when she attended her first national breast cancer event, Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer. Stephanie keeps busy advocating for men and women living with MBC in rural areas — including where she lives now in the Southeast — and for equal access to quality healthcare, treatment modalities, and resources.
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