Almost everyone knows someone in their life impacted by breast cancer. One in eight women are impacted in the United States, but not everyone is impacted the same.
African American women are 20 to 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer, even though their rates of getting cancer are the same as white women. Channel 11 talked to Allegheny Health Network breast surgeon Rebecca Fisher to find out why. She said it has to do with a variety of factors, from the biology of their cancer to genetics, but it also includes access to care issues.
"Often that includes a delay in diagnosis," said Doctor Fishman.
Statistics show African American women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, and that makes the road to remission more difficult.
That's something Tabitha McDougle knows all too well. The single mother got her diagnosis late, and then was told more bad news.
"When I called to get insurance, they told me I had to wait," McDougle said. "I said, they just told me this news, I can't wait."
Her doctors helped her get that resolved. Doctor fishman urges women to connect now with a health care provider in their community, to see if they need follow up visits.
Said Doctor Fishman: "It's really best to have a relationship with a trusted physician, your OBGYN or a primary care doctor."
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