How Black Women Are Affected Differently By Ovarian Cancer
sex, according to The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. While these signs aren’t direct indicators of cancer, if they continue for more than 14 days, women should pay close attention to them and mention their concerns to an OB/GYN immediately.
Since the symptoms of ovarian cancer are very unclear and could easily be conflated with other minor health issues, the fact still remains that these often-overlooked symptoms contribute heavily to ovarian cancer’s high rate of diagnoses at an advanced stage, thus requiring more aggressive, rigorous and invasive methods of treatment.
Another contributing factor to the disproportionate treatment in the Black community is that most African American patients aren’t aware of their family’s medical history.
In an interview with Ebony Magazine, Dr. Lisa M. Johnson, founder of Ivy Obstetrics & Gynecology in New York City said, “a lot of the symptoms that women experience as they age are considered acceptable changes that come with life. They don’t necessarily talk to their daughters or granddaughters about what they’ve experienced because that’s not considered proper.”
Johnson continued by saying that her young female patients say “‘Oh, my grandmother had a hysterectomy, but I don’t know why, or my cousin had cancer but no one will talk about it.’” She also said that this is often not the case when it comes to many of her white patients who come to her office with more than enough information about their