June 10, 2011

Advance Notice

Hard-to-treat breast cancer in African American women is town hall topic

A subtype of breast cancer with limited treatment options that disproportionately affects young African American women will be the subject of a community town hall on Thursday, June 23.

This educational event is sponsored by Emory's Winship Cancer Institute.

"Triple Negative Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know" will begin with light refreshments at 6 p.m. in the Glenn Auditorium at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

An interactive panel discussion will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the panel of physicians, breast cancer surgeons, survivors, nurses and other health care professionals.

About one in five, or 20 percent, of breast cancers in the general population are believed to be this type of cancer, generally referred to as "triple negative." 

A 2006 Emory study showed that 39 percent of premenopausal African American women were diagnosed with this form of breast cancer. However, in post-menopausal African American women, the number dropped to 14 percent.   

"The reason we are concerned is because we see so much triple negative breast cancer in young African American women," says Monica Rizzo, director of Emory Breast Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Treatment options are fewer than with hormone-positive breast cancers,  Rizzo says. Researchers at Winship and other major cancer centers are studying why this is so. Answers are not yet clear, she says. 

Visit Winship Cancer Institute for more information and to register.

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