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Raising Breast Cancer Awareness in African-American women

At a past fundraiser for the Sisters Network in Atlanta, GA, I learned of the need for breast cancer awareness in the African American community. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst all women. http://www.cdc.gov/ cancer/dcpc/data/ women.htm For women under 45 years old, however, the mortality rate of breast cancer is higher for black women than Caucasians. http://www.sistersnetworkinc.org/breastcancerfacts.html

Although black women get breast cancer at a slightly lower incidence rate (3%) than white women, the mortality rate was 42% higher in African-American women by 2012. African-American women are more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to be diagnosed at later stages with the lowest survival at each stage of diagnosis. Black women are diagnosed more often with triple negative breast cancer, which is an aggressive subtype linked to a lower survival rate.http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/news/report-breast-cancer-rates-rising-among-african-american-women

Roughly 27,060 African-American women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. The average age of diagnosis for African-American women is 57 compared to the average age of 62 for white women. The 5 year survival rate for African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer from 2002 to 2008 was 12% lower in comparison to the rates among white women. http://www.sistersnetworkinc.org/breastcancerfacts.html This gap in mortality is attributed to factors such as lack of preventative awareness, late detection, socioeconomic status, no health insurance, and difficulty accessing medical care. http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/RacialEthnicIssuesinScreening.html

A woman’s best overall preventive health strategy is to reduce known risk factors such as avoiding weight gain and obesity, engaging in regular physical activity, and minimizing alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Women should also consider the increased risk of breast cancer associated with combined estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy when evaluating treatment options for menopausal symptoms. Unfortunately, there are risk factors unrelated to personal choices including but not limited to aging, genetics, family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, age/number of menstrual periods, race/ethnicity, dense breast tissue, and certain benign breast conditions. More information about breast cancer is available in the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts and Figures, at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors

Getting a proper mammogram is important regardless of race or ethnicity. All women in their 20’s and 30’s should have a clinical breast exam with regular health checkups at least once every three years, and women in their 40’s should have a clinical breast exam annually along with a mammogram. All women should perform self-exams monthly and inform their doctor of anything abnormal.http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer /moreinformation/ breastcancerearlydetection/breast-cancer-early-detection-acs-recs http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam According to the American Cancer Society, 2-4 mammograms out of 1,000 reveal a diagnosis of breast cancer. Ten percent of all women who have a mammogram will need additional testing such as a repeat mammogram or biopsy. Of the eight to ten percent of those who require a biopsy, 20 percent are diagnosed with cancer. https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/products/breast-biopsy-update/

A mind-body therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Eastern Regional Medical Center, recognizes the importance of attending individual or group counseling since emotional, mental, social and behavioral factors can directly affect the health of breast cancer survivors. http://www.cancercenter.com/breast-cancer/mind-body-medicine/ Call the Atlanta Southern Regional Chapter of the Sisters Network at (770) 347-8926 for a breast cancer support group near you. The Sisters Network also has a Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP) which provides financial assistance for medical related lodging, office visit copays, prostheses, and free mammograms. For additional support groups, therapy and counseling options, visit http:// lotsahelpinghands.com/how-it-works/ or visit http:// www.carepages.com/search?search%5Bterms%5D=dcis+breast+cancer

One way to qualify for social security disability benefits is to meet the requirements of Medical Listing 13.10 for Breast Cancer as follows:

13.10 Breast Cancer (except sarcoma—13.04) (See 13.00K4.)

A. Locally advanced cancer (inflammatory carcinoma, cancer of any size with direct extension to the chest wall or skin, or cancer of any size with metastases to the ipsilateral internal mammary nodes).
B. Carcinoma with metastases to the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes, to 10 or more axillary nodes, or with distant metastases.
C. Recurrent carcinoma, except local recurrence that remits with anticancer therapy.
D. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.
E. With secondary lymphedema that is caused by anticancer therapy and treated by surgery to salvage or restore the functioning of an upper extremity. (See 13.00K4b.) Consider under a disability until at least 12 months from the date of the surgery that treated the secondary lymphedema. Thereafter, evaluate any residual impairment(s) under the criteria for the affected body system.https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/13.00-NeoplasticDiseases-Malignant-Adult.htm#13_10

Call the Law office of Kathleen M Flynn, LLC at 404-479-4431 if you would like assistance with filing a DIB or SSI application, Request for Reconsideration, Request for Hearing, Request for Review or help in expediting your case for social security disability benefits. Also, please visit our website at www.kathleenflynnlaw.com to learn more about us.

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