From The Grio — In January, 2005, Stephanie Mims-Broady knew she had breast cancer.

“I was just touching [myself] and thought I might as well do the [self breast exam] because I had been doing it on a monthly basis–and I found the lump,” she said.

But she was too busy to act on the lump she had found. She was taking care of her ailing mother–who would lose her battle to lung cancer later that month.

Soon after her mother passed, Stephanie received more sobering news from doctors–she did in fact have breast cancer.

And she learned the type of breast cancer she had was more aggressive than most.

“The initial lump was like the size of my fingernail, but by the time they removed it, it was the size of an un-shelled walnut,” she said. “So it was rapidly growing.”

Stephanie’s cancer is known as triple negative,’ a type of breast cancer that affects tens of thousands of women each year, especially young women.

Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph is an assistant professor of surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. She says women with triple negative breast cancer lack three hormone receptors known to fuel breast cancer tumors–which means many of the most common drugs and therapies won’t work.

The form is rare–it accounts for roughly 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancer cases nationally–triple negative does mirror many breast cancer trends for minority patients.

“About 30 percent of the cases, of breast cancer in African-Americans in this country, 20 to 30 percent are triple negatives versus about 10 to 15 percent in white women,” Dr. Joseph said. “So it’s not exclusive to African-Americans, but it is certainly higher.”

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • What an interesting article! Help us find a cure for breast cancer in all women at http://www.mammogramoromise.com, each a somebody makes a promise to get a yearly mammogram, $1 is donated to research. So, please help us spread the word!

  • Interesting reading. Unfortunately this is also the case in the Uk, where i live concerning women of West African origin or descent. Apparently the rate of breast cancer is very low – about a quarter of the incidence in the US, but the outcome if often more fatal. They also suffer from triple negative breast cancers. If the incidence rate is lower in Africa than in the US and the UK, then the risk factors must lie in environment and diet. We need to lobby our governments to spend more money on research into this phenomenon.

    I’m a black british woman currently being treated for breast cancer (i’m triple positive). Read about my experiences here – http://www.afrochemo.blogspot.com


    • Please do not lift my comments which I made on another site and rewrite them for your own website. I would have happily made a comment had you contacted me and am more than happy for women of colour to read my blog. But I’m not happy about quotes being rewritten and attributed to me. Please do not do it again and I would appreciate it if the rewritten copy is removed from your site.