5 Reasons Black Patients Should Participate in Metastatic Breast Cancer Trials

metastatic breast cancer

Malcolm X once said that “The most disrespected American is the Black Woman. The most vulnerable American is the Black Woman.” Unfortunately, Black Women appear at a disadvantage at almost every turn when it comes to their health. Many issues arise due to socioeconomic conditions, their environment, genetics, and less access to healthcare practices. This often leads to major health issues, including metastatic breast cancer. According to The Black Women’s Health Imperative, Black women experience a 40% higher rate of breast cancer mortality and death than white women. Even worse, younger women are more liable to develop breast cancer before the age of 40.

Fortunately, researchers are working around the clock to find new ways to combat the cancer. However, a recent study showed that clinical trials often leave many Black patients skeptical about the new treatments available. While most Black female patients show a willingness to participate in these test trials, a vast majority of them don’t trust the healthcare system.

RELATED: Should Black Americans Still Be Leary of Clinical Trials?

Why Black Patients Are Rejecting Clinical Trials?

Furthermore, a press conference for the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting was held back in May to go over the recent findings of a survey completed involving the matter.

The team conducted the survey on behalf of the BECOME initiative, which aims at understanding why Black patients with metastatic breast cancer were less likely to participate in new treatments than their white counterparts. The test was administered on social media by members of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.

Further details reveal that the survey involved 424 patients living with the life-threatening disease. However, only 102 patients identified as Black women.

In the team’s findings, 83% of Black patients with metastatic breast cancer were interested in participating in clinical trials. However, 40% revealed that their care team didn’t inform them of any information before administering the clinical trials.

The fact that a percentage of Black patients had no prior information before participating in the new treatments reveals a glaring issue. One of the biggest reasons why Black patients rejected treatments hinged on the lack of prior information. The survey demonstrated that a vast majority of Black patients voiced their concerns over side effects, effectiveness, logistics, travel and additional costs.

Additionally, patients believed that “unstudied trials” could jeopardize their health. Basically, they wanted to weigh the risks against the benefits before making an informed decision.

Even worse, Black patients held an overall mistrust of white practitioners and feared that they may not be treated with the same care as others.

It’s no secret that the healthcare system doesn’t have Black America’s best interest in mind. The survey, conducted by the BECOME initiative, found that Black women with metastatic breast cancer were more willing to believe a doctor of the same race.

They responded well to doctors who’ve also had experience with