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By: Kamara Taylor
With crime being ever so rampant in minority communities, we tend to overlook the biggest threat and killer that continues to destroy homes and the family dynamic. This terrible menace is CANCER.
As Angelina Jolie has become the face of the BRCA 1 gene by removing both breasts to prevent the likelihood of cancer occurring, most African American women are the largest carriers of the triple negative gene. This form of cancer is not associated directly with the hormonal characteristics of developing cancer, but genetics.
My mother, Minnie D. Taylor, was diagnosed with stage four triple negative stage breast cancer on March 27, 2013 at the age of 50 and was dead by July 8, 2013. Being made aware of this deadly disease goes beyond the monthly self-exams that women are informed to do and the knowledge required goes beyond the text book knowledge from the oncologist.
Sometimes medicine remains as much as a big box business as Wal-Mart or Costco and the merchandise is at the expensive of our loved ones lives. Just as Henrietta Lacks and her HeLa cells have been used to pioneer medicine, many of our loved ones are medical guinea pigs for eager medical students, burnt out residents and overzealous attendees.
Cancer is not a new disease; however its rampant spread in the African American community has and should raise eyebrows. We also need more awareness on how we are affected firsthand as cancer’s ugly head continues to sphere its way into our communities and is just as rampant as crime.
The pharmaceutical companies and the oncology departments are cancerous, as well. They continue to capitalize off a disease that we lack knowledge about and refuse to educate ourselves on. Please let’s make ourselves aware so that we can prevent our families from inexplicably losing another Minnie D. Taylor ever so soon.
Kamara A. Taylor
Masters of Art Political Science
Phd candidate Cognitive and Instructional Psychology