The perspective of African-American breast cancer survivor-advocates

Ngina Lythcott, Bettye L Green, Zora Kramer Brown
Cancer 2003 January 1, 97 (1): 324-8

BACKGROUND: This article discusses the sometimes unique presentation and course of breast cancer in African-American women and the impact these differences have on the perception of breast disease among African-American women.

METHODS: The project described represents the thoughts of many African-American breast cancer survivors, as summarized by three breast cancer survivor-advocates who work through very different national organizations, each of whom has vast experience working directly with African-American breast cancer survivors and their families.

RESULTS: In addition to discussions of compelling considerations that have an impact on survivor access, such as agency, culture, and class, other important access questions are raised for research scientists and clinicians that have an impact on the prevention, screening, and detection and treatment of breast cancer in African-American women as well as their accrual to clinical trials.

CONCLUSIONS: To eradicate ethnicity-related disparities in breast cancer outcomes for African-American women, it is important for the medical community (clinicians and research scientists) to develop active partnerships with African-American and other breast cancer survivor-advocates in order to establish effective breast health awareness and breast cancer treatment programs and to develop meaningful breast cancer research programs.

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