Recently, studies have shown that African American women prefer autologous breast reconstruction with their own tissue over implant breast reconstruction. Many, including Cheryl Perkins, a Detroit neonatal nurse, choose double mastectomy over lumpectomy when diagnosed with more aggressive triple-negative breast cancer.
Less is known about other cultures but the reporting we did in the large Arab community in metro Detroit found strong preferences towards lumpectomy, at least as a first choice. “Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You,” offers a rare look at this issue among Arab women and showcases model programs in Dearborn, MI that encourage screening mammography and navigation help to ensure women have mammograms and followup biopsies, when needed, and that stick with women throughout a cancer diagnosis through treatment. These programs also provide a look at some exceptional translation services at Oakwood Hospital, part of the Beaumont Health System, and ACCESS, where breast cancer survivors Hiam Hamade and Ghada Aziz help women throughout cancer screening and treatment. Because of their work, more women are getting mammograms and are returning for biopsies and other advice.
We will explore the impact of race, culture and money on breast cancer surgery and reconstruction decisions in a panel discussion Sept. 29, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit.