When it comes to getting good healthcare, we have to use our voices and speak out. The healthcare system has especially failed the Black community when it comes to providing them with better treatment options. Even more disturbing, white physicians have been known to express biased or even racist attitudes toward Black patients in the doctor’s office.
When Ashadee Miller, a metastatic breast cancer survivor, was sent to the hospital over a severe allergic reaction to her medication, her oncologist completely dismissed her pain and suffering. Even worse, the doctor accused her of exhibiting drug-seeking behavior, all because of the color of her skin. Unfortunately, too many Black patients experience this type of behavior in a doctor’s office, feeling unheard and unseen.
Patients like Ashadee Miller are taking a stand against the healthcare system. After the unfortunate interaction with her oncologist, Miller refused to be treated as less than and started advocating for herself.
Luckily, there are four ways for other metastatic breast cancer sufferers to speak up for themselves in a doctor’s office when they’re faced with mistreatment:
1. Understanding Your Condition
Learning as much as you can about your condition can help you feel more informed during your appointments. Oftentimes, the physician doesn’t take the time to explain or inform their patients about their diagnosis.
Ashadee Miller especially didn’t receive any further information about her metastatic breast cancer during her doctor’s visit. Instead, she had to educate herself.
Sufferers should do the same. For instance, knowing that Black women are more likely to develop more aggressive forms of the condition, like triple-negative breast cancer and die from it, can help patients in the long run.
Early screen testing and routine mammograms can catch the cancer before it even progresses. Resources such as the American Cancer Society and The National Cancer Institute can help empower patients with knowledge about their condition. Additionally, it can lead to better treatment options.
2. Research Your Family History
Another way patients can take action is by learning about their family history with the disease. Oftentimes the answers we need lie within