MY LIFE Matters - 6

Metastatic & Black


A Metastatic Breast
Cancer Perspective as
a Black Oncologist


id you know....
do you really understand that the 5-yr survival
rate for mBC (Metastatic Breast Cancer) is significantly lower than that of other races? That in
women both over and under 40, the incidence is
higher than any other race? That we are 42% more likely to
die than others from advanced disease?
But we are MORE than statistics.
As a Black surgical oncologist, I feel connected to these
patients, these women, these sisters, in many ways. It keeps
me up more nights than I'd like to admit, it has robbed me
of friends and colleagues, and tried to dim the light of many
bright young stars in our culture. But I want to talk to those
of you who may be facing a diagnosis of mBC, or caring and
supporting someone who is carrying this particular burden. I
am speaking to you, as I would speak to my own patient. Step
into my consultation room, and let's chat.
I know that this is scary. It's the hardest thing you've ever had
to face in your life so far. And when you read statistics like the
ones above, it's hard not to see yourself in those numbers and
begin to feel like these numbers, these statistics speak for you.
Well, I am here to tell you that you are not a statistic, you are
a person! The power of your story is the only voice that speaks
for you. Even though we still have a long way to go towards
parity in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and outcomes, we
are working for you, day and night. You are seen, heard, and
represented more than ever before.



Who are we? Doctors, scientists,
researchers, industry, advocates, survivors, and metavivors who have been
exactly where you are and can show
you a path forward. I know that it
hasn't always been the case, but more
and more the medical community is
recognizing the need to fight even
harder against this disease for Your
Black Life, because it is the personal
mission of our My Black Life to remind them, and the lives of everyone
listed above. The call to arms has been
issued and your army is at war.
So... despite all that you will read
and hear about death - let's talk about
LIFE. Yours. It begins Now! Each and
every day you must begin again, make
the choice to prioritize your peace,
your self care, your spirit, amidst the
loud voices of everyone and everything clamoring for your attention.
You can no longer be afraid to say to
your doctor -"I don't understand", or
"Can you show me the evidence?", or
tell your oncology team "I need_____
(anything!)___" and be ignored.


MY LIFE Matters

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MY LIFE Matters

MY LIFE Matters - Cover1
MY LIFE Matters - Cover2
MY LIFE Matters - 1
MY LIFE Matters - Contents
MY LIFE Matters - 3
MY LIFE Matters - 4
MY LIFE Matters - 5
MY LIFE Matters - 6
MY LIFE Matters - 7
MY LIFE Matters - 8
MY LIFE Matters - 9
MY LIFE Matters - 10
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MY LIFE Matters - 12
MY LIFE Matters - 13
MY LIFE Matters - 14
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MY LIFE Matters - 20
MY LIFE Matters - Cover4