Activity #6

I chose an article from the New York Times called “Why Do More Black Women Die of Breast Cancer? A Study Aims to Find Out”. I chose this article because it aligns with that topics we read about this week such as race and genetics. The article explains that more black women are at risk of dying from breast cancer. It talks about a recent grant of 12 million dollars that is funding the research to determine why black women’s breast cancer is more often fatal. They’re studying over 20,000 black women who suffer from breast cancer. Then comparing them to black women without disease and white women who do. They aim to investigate whether genetics, lifestyle, or racial factors are the cause of the mortality rate in black women with breast cancer. Historically, black women as a whole have not been the main victims of breast cancer but recently they have matched the amount of white women who suffer from breast cancer. This is the first consortium for African American women. The article points out that “genetics has largely been a mystery”, hopefully this study will have discover new research about genetics and race linked to breast cancer. The scientists studying this case have presented many environmental factors that can contribute to the fatality rate among black women such as obesity. They suspect that genetic factors are the cause behind black women dying from breast cancer. I think that this kind of research is extremely important to the future of our country. I am very curious to see what the conclusion of this study is but I imagine we will not know for many years to come. Unfortunately, this is the case but this article made me optimistic about the advancements that are being explored and made in science today.

6 thoughts on “Activity #6

  1. I find it so sad that despite how far we come as a society, and how much we have learned about race so many misconceptions are still made. Despite various studies being done throughout history, people continue to attempt to find a way to relate genetics and race. I think that one reason for this, is that for some it is actually impossible to grasp onto the concept that we as a human race do not have biological differences despite difference in skin color. There has been no proof of groups being separate because of biological differences. In history, many of these “so-called” biological differences were used to excuse oppression and mistreatment of minorities. People of color were abused and violated and it was justified because they were seen as lesser, and people used facts with no real validation to try and prove that what they were doing was justified. Perhaps this was a way for people to not feel guilty for abusing others. It is hard to believe how much injustice could have been avoided in the past if people were able to see others as just humans instead of by the color of their skin. The only race that we should see is the human race.

  2. Hello. Thank you for sharing your article this week. I was able to read the article and found some things a bit disturbing. If there is a true genetic reason for black women having more fatal strains of breast cancer, I hope the research fully investigates the “Why?”. I say this because, as we have learned in this class, we have seen some data manipulation that is predisposed to gain certain results. I find myself wondering right now if there could be something cultural going on that may lead to the increased fatality rate. The idea that it’s genetics seems a bit odd to me if this past October is the first month that the occurrence rate matched that of white women. If it were genetically based, it seems to me the numbers would have been matched a long time ago. According to the article, prior to this, the disease was more fatal in in the fewer cases contracted. I would really like to see the socioeconomic correlation for those instances.
    The article did touch on some socioeconomic factors when it mentions access to care and other environmental factors, which I am happy to see. I agree with you and am very curious to see the outcome of this research and the other factors they are investigating. I also agree, we may not know the outcome for many years to come.

  3. I find this whole article extremely interesting. I never thought about genetic factors having to do with race effecting anything health related. When I think about race all that comes to mind is social factors and the fact that in our society we tend to be biased even in the medical field just due to race itself. But, when we think about race as something more along the lines of “age” and factors like that then I think it is definitely a step in the right direction for medical reasons. If there are specific genetics linked to someone who is black that differ from someone who is white it would be interesting to see what the health effects are that come along with it. The fact that black women die from breast cancer more often than white women actually really surprises me because the majority of women I hear about with breast cancer are white. This makes me think.. is the reason that more black women are dying from breast cancer due to lack of treatment and lack of resources? That is just a thought that comes to mind initially. i thought that this was a good article to share, thanks for finding it!

  4. The article that you chose is very interesting because it talks about not just black women having a higher probability of getting breast cancer but it talks about scientists studying environmental factors to find out why they are dying more as well. I believe that environmental factors have a big part to play in this dynamic. You say that black women weren’t at a higher risk of getting cancer in the past which is why I feel that the environment plays a huge role in this. Genetics don’t really divide black women from white women in this specific disease because past data showed that there wasn’t a big difference between the two races in who got cancer. Genetics need to be studied more to find out why these women are getting cancer and try to take steps to prevent it as early as they can so that there wont be a big gap in the mortality rate between black women and white women. This also goes for illnesses that plague black men and other races who have a higher probability of getting a certain illness than another. This can really help to bridge the gap between races and get rid of any prejudices that are against other people.

  5. I read the article that you posted about and I thought it was very interesting. I never knew that there was more of a trend with cancer and different races. I think that it’s great to see that there was a grant of 12 million dollars taken out to look into this issue. In my opinion, this is an imperative issue that we need to find a solution and dedicate our time and effort to. I never knew the statistic but I was interested to find out that the same number of black women suffer from breast cancer as white woman. Looking into the entire population, this is a much larger ratio of black women suffering from cancer. I too found this article inspiring and I think that it promotes a promising future within the United States for the advancement of medicine and findings when it comes to cancer research. In my opinion, any advancement when it comes to cancer is a great step.

  6. I guess I am a little confused, are they saying that more black women die of breast cancer but there are more women of other races who are diagnosed? Now they compare black and white women but what about all the other races? Also with race, I don’t really understand how people look effects what diseases they have. People have different types of genetics and what makes up their body, and I don’t think skin color effects what they are studying. People should be more focused on finding a cure in general. You said historically black women as a whole have not been the main victims of breast cancer but have recently matched white women who suffer from breast cancer, I wonder what the sudden change was? I mean it can’t be the color of their skin because to me logically that does not make sense. I think a lot of product that people eat, use and live by effect what happens to their body along with what issues run in their family when it comes to medical issues. I think all research is extremely important when it comes to disease, disease doesn’t see the color of people, it is just something that could happen to anyone.

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