This news comes via CBS4 in Miami, who interviewed Dr. Judith Hurley about her research with breast cancer patients at the University of Miami. After observing that many of the women with breast cancer from the Bahamas was very young, she began to do research with oncologists in the Bahamas and came to this conclusion: “The women who had breast cancer in the Bahamas were younger than the women in the United States.”
Although the report says that with grants from the Komen for the Cure foundation, testing was expanded, it was unclear is this was only across the Bahamas or to Black Caribbean women in other areas. Needless to say, this research could have impact across the Caribbean and calls for more education, earlier diagnoses and access to treatment for anyone affected.
One of my grandmothers is a breast cancer survivor of close to 2o years. I remember hearing that she had to leave our island to get treatment at a facility in Barbados. To my understanding, she was in her early 40’s when diagnosed and today, she is living strong and healthy.
As Caribbean women, we bear a disproportionate burden of many cancers, chronic diseases and infectious diseases. Any progress towards eliminating those burdens should be noted.
To read more about the study and see a video clip, visit the website here.