metastatic breast cancer themselves. Shared experiences between a patient and doctor often yield more positive results in the end.
Basically, healthcare centers aren’t informing Black patients the same as they are with white patients. Thus, the results based on the effectiveness of new treatments for metastatic breast cancer remain one-sided.
How can we truly measure the success of a new drug if everyone doesn’t participate? Because Black women carry the highest risk of developing metastatic breast cancer, healthcare should make it a priority to fix this problem.
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What Steps Are Needed To Ensure The Participation Of Black Patients?
Fortunately, plans to increase participation from Black patients have already been made. Head lead of the survey and member of the BECOME initiative, Stephanie Walker, believes that several changes need to be made. Many of them include healthcare providers better informing patients, establishing a level of trust, ensuring access to clinical trials, and addressing patient concerns upfront.
Additionally, Walker asks that stakeholders expand the survey to larger groups of Black participants, in hopes of gaining more information on their experience with the disease. Walker stated that Members of the BECOME initiative have plans to meet with other groups to share results and improve health care systems.
Furthermore, Walker wants more educational programs to help doctors better communicate with Black female patients and provide them better access to test trials. “To address the concerns that we have, you need to communicate clearly about the issues and worries that metastatic breast cancer patients have. You have to understand that some of the compelling motivation for Black patients to participate in clinical trials is to ensure that people like them will benefit,” Walker says.
Hopefully, with these measures in place, healthcare professionals can improve care for Black women dealing with metastatic breast cancer. More importantly, they can save more Black lives.