Clinical Trails, Genetics, Research

African American women are less likely to develop breast cancer but are more likely to die from it. Researchers are trying to find answers that might be discovered in clinical trials—but Black women are repeatedly underrepresented in these studies. Clinical trials are especially important for Black women and the considerations necessary to improve participation.

However, there are individual and systemic barriers that cause a lack in Black women’s participation in oncological clinical trials. Some of these barriers are:

  • Lack of understanding about clinical trials that would specifically help African Americans
  • Black people cancer experiences are genetically unique and more aggressive.
  • Mistrust about “being a research guinea pig” due the historical “Tuskegee Institute Experiment.
  • The patient never finds out about clinical trials from their doctors even though most of them are open to participating in one.
  • Systemic bias and racism in medical institutions.

Dr. Sandhya Pruthi

Lonzetta Neal, MD, Mayo Clinic

Family Genetics

We are connected genetically in more ways than we know. When diagnosed with breast cancer, some may say, “It’s not in my family”, but that is not always the fact. We really don’t know our family medical history in the last generation or of hundreds or thousands of years ago.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mutations increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Our female and male blood relatives can carry these gene mutations. The best way to find out is to be tested so you can inform your other family members.

For more information, go to:
https://www.preventcancer.org/education/family-history/

Dr. Lisa Newman on triple negative breast cancer in AA women