Triple-negative Breast Cancer Hits Black Women Hardest, Tips To Reduce Your Risk. : ThyBlackMan

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Triple-negative Breast Cancer Hits Black Women Hardest, Tips To Reduce Your Risk.

July 21, 2019 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( A rare type of cancer called triple-negative breast cancer affects women of color the most. Out of the 1.15 million breast cancer cases, 8.4 percent of cases belong to triple-negative breast cancer. There’s a significant incidence of racial disparities, specifically non-Hispanic black women and younger women have been a big target.

What’s triple-negative breast cancer?

It’s a type of cancer that tests negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor 2 receptors. Triple-negative breast cancer is rare and it tends to be very aggressive. With fewer treatments available for this type of cancer, many new treatments are still under study.

The impact

Data shows that the number of non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women who had been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer is more than the number of non-Hispanic white women. A large number of (21%) non-Hispanic women were diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than any other type of breast cancer.

Epidemiologist Dora Il’yasova, an associate professor from the School of Public Health at Georgia State University said triple-negative breast cancer is likely to affect African American women of younger age. These women are facing more risks than women of the same age from other ethnicities. Of course, diseases don’t respect any boundaries. According to the United States Cancer Statistics database, women below 40 years of age are at a higher risk of a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis.

Since the triple-negative breast cancer tumor doesn’t have the three receptors that fuel the growth of breast cancer, existing common treatments are not effective. Additionally, triple-negative breast cancer gets very complex in later stages, which means chemotherapy can effectively work only if it is given in the earlier stages. This type of cancer can be more aggressive and it can spread and return.

However, there are some things that women should do to reduce the risk of breast cancer:

Keep a healthy body weight: Because more than 70% of American adults are overweight, weight issues in women can increase the risk of breast cancer. Being overweight after menopause doubles the risk of breast cancer because fat tissues raise estrogen levels. Additionally, higher levels of insulin also signal the possibility of breast cancer.

Avoid alcohol: A glass of wine a day may reduce the risk of heart diseases, but it can make you suffer in some other ways. Alcohol consumption is directly linked to the risk of cancers, specifically breast cancer. The American Cancer Society warns women against the dangers of alcohol consumption and alcohol’s role in fueling the growth of breast cancer cells.

Be more physically active: Don’t think that your household chores are enough to keep you physically fit. You need to do something more. Moderate to intense workout sessions twice or thrice a week can help you stay healthy. According to the American Cancer Society, an adult should get at least 75 minutes of intense or 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.

Extended breastfeeding: When nursing your child, try extended breastfeeding because it helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Some women are already in a high-risk zone due to genes, lifestyle, and health conditions. To reduce the risk of breast cancer, women should talk to a professional health care provider. Instead of randomly picking treatments or medicines, meet a doctor who can better understand the problem.

If you are unsure about your health or notice something strange, it’s better to go for a checkup. Even if you don’t have any health issues, regular checkups can help you keep track of your health and well-being. While this approach doesn’t directly lower breast cancer risk, knowing something early is always better because cancer, regardless of its type, is easier to treat at the early stage.

Staff Writer; Jason Smith

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