Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a particularly aggressive and difficult to treat form of breast cancer. It occurs in about 10 to 20 percent of diagnosed breast cancers and is more likely to affect black women than their white counterparts.
That was the message Winda Birt, the YWCA’s director of its Healthy Connections program delivered to an audience of about 30 women at the YWCA’s office during National Breast Health Awareness Month.
According to one recent study, TNBC is three times more likely to affect black women than white women and is more likely to occur among women younger than age 60. While the study suggests that genetic factors may be responsible for the higher incidence among black women. Birt explains that other factors – especially late diagnoses – contribute to the higher mortality rate and more aggressive treatment pattern among black women.
That’s why Birt emphasized the importance of regular mammograms at age 40, but also the importance of breast self-examination for early detection of redness, lumps, or other changes.
Through its Healthy Connections program, the YWCA coordinates linkage to free mammograms for women who lack insurance coverage.
The workshop was part of a joint collaboration that included the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs in Toledo and Maumee Bay, as well as the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, LMHA, the YWCA and YMCA, and Top Ladies of Distinction.