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The risk of recidivism in Black patients is 39% higher than in white patients. Photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán — Pixabay.

Gilead Sciences delivers grant for Black patients affected by triple negative breast cancer

The resources will be used to build the hub of Black TNBC resources.

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TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance — in collaboration with the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Nueva Vida — received the first “Toward Health Equity for Black People Impacted by Triple Negative Breast Cancer Resource Hub” grant from Gilead Sciences for their project Black TNBC Matters.

Highlighting how patients in the Black community are diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (CMTN) nearly three times more often than whites, this collaborative project will provide the first online platform of Black CMTN resources for the community, by the community.

Ricki Fairley, CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance, stated in a press release:

Black TNBC Matters will start—and be grounded throughout the process—in community.

Health Resources

The Black TNBC Matters team has also set out to create a bilingual, culturally agile, scientifically proven, and SEO-optimized (and mobile) website for Black people affected by CMTN and their loved ones.

The team is advised by leading Black and Latino advocacy groups affected by CMTN and other types of breast cancer, as well as leading clinicians with experience in CMTN in the Black population.

“The first thing that someone newly diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer does after they leave their doctor’s office is to search ‘triple negative breast cancer’ online. Usually sitting in their car on their cell phone. As is, the results are scary and confusing. If you add ‘Black’ into that search, it only gets worse. We want our resource hub to be a light in all that darkness. All Black people impacted by TNBC deserve to find community and hope from that very first search,” highlighted Fairley.

It is Time to Act

According to figures shared by the Black TNBC Matters team, the mortality rate for Black breast cancer patients is 41% higher than that of white patients, and their five-year survival rate is the lowest of all races or ethnicities. Likewise, the relative risk of recidivism in Black patients is an alarming 39% higher than in white patients.

As for CMTN, the data indicates that Black people are almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with this type of cancer, and the five-year relative survival of Black women with late-stage CMTN is a dismal 10.2%, the lowest of all ethnicities.

“Our motto is no one fights alone. We want the Black TNBC Matters resource hub to be a tab that Black TNBC patients and their loved ones keep open on their computers, that they come back to on a regular basis in order to get what they need at any given point during their TNBC experience,” noted Hayley Dinerman, executive director of the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Although the advances made to combat this disease are highlighted, the need for the resource center is latent. The initiative highlights the urgency of a comprehensive, culturally-responsive platform that can provide the Black breast cancer community with the best tools to educate and advocate for themselves and each other.

This unprecedented initiative is made possible by the generous support of Gilead Sciences, which has one time and again demonstrated its commitment to the Black community affected by breast cancer.

“Gilead recognizes that patients and communities often face challenges in accessing the best possible care, and we know that passion for scientific discovery alone — and that Gilead alone — cannot solve these challenges. We believe that this hub will make critical strides towards health equity for Black women impacted by TNBC,” stated Deborah H. Telman, Gilead's executive vice president of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel.

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