I recently attended an event about Black women and breast cancer. Here's what I learned:
Black women have a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer than white women.
However, more Black women tend to die of breast cancer because they tend to develop a more aggressive form of the disease, which appears at an earlier age.
Click here to read about triple negative breast cancer.
This can lead to women’s concerns being dismissed by doctors who think they are “too young” to have to worry about breast cancer.
There is not enough information available about how this disease affects Black women. Doctors and healthcare professionals, including cancer charities, tend to be unaware of the issues Black women face.
Breast cancer can be caused by common household chemicals, including some Black hair care products, those which contain paraffin, parabens, mineral oil and N\pS./
Marina Raime of Betterdays Cancer Care
Maria Raime gave a very moving presentation based on her own personal experience.
When she first discovered a lump, Marina went to the GP twice and was turned away.
Young women often struggle to get a correct diagnosis.
When she was diagnosed, Marina needed information about breast-feeding and infertility.
She was treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital, which is classed as a Centre of Excellence in treating breast cancer. However, the second time she had the disease, she presented with a rash and was told it had been caused by laundry detergent, even though she was a cancer survivor.
After her double mastectomy, she was offered a white prosthesis.
She found that the literature on breast cancer was for older women and contained images of white women.
She did not receive any co-ordinated care as a pregnant woman with breast cancer.
The effects of the chemotherapy and radiotherapy she received have been long-term. No research has been done about the effects of these therapies on Black women.
After her charity, Better Days Cancer Care, set up their website, they received phonecalls from people asking “Why do you only have images of Black women on the site?” and “Why are there no images of white women?”.
The site was hacked by a hater, and all the research data was removed from the site.
Marina emphasised the importance of claiming ownership of the Black breast – our breasts are ours.
Betterdays are now working with Kings Healthcare Trust in a project led by Harold Freeman, an esteemed breast cancer expert from Harlem.
This event was held by London Black History Walks. They will repeat this event in July 2010.
On another note, many people have been cured of cancer and other serious diseases using Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT). For more info, see The Higher Self.
Books about Using Food to Prevent and Treat Cancer
Foods to Fight Cancer
The Cancer Survivor's Guide: Foods that Help You Fight Back
Nature’s Cancer-Fighting Foods
Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer
What To Eat if You Have Cancer: Healing Foods that Boost Your Immune System
Foods that Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer through Diet