Raising awareness for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

May 21, 2013 1:52:17 PM PDT
Angelina Jolie's shocking admission that she had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer helped to raise awareness of a highly aggressive form of the disease often referred to as triple negative breast cancer.

African American women and Latina's are especially vulnerable to it. But a new program at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx is offering many patients new hope.

Like most women, when Gwendolyn Hardy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, she says it was overwhelming.

"I didn't know where to go, I didn't even have friends because I separated myself from people," she said.

Making matters more complicated, she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. It's a type of cancer that does not have any estrogen or hormone receptors that means some medications don't work.

To help Gwen figure out what to do next, she had Tina, a patient navigator, someone who helps connect patients with support groups and doctors.

"We set them up with insurance, transportation if they don't have a way to and from we schedule they're appointments," said Tina.

Later this fall, there will be another patient navigator at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, thanks to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. They're testing out a new pilot program

"To fund a patient navigator to help patients from diagnosis to treatment and specifically to help triple negative patients navigate their treatment," said Allison Axenrod.

About 10-20% of breast cancers are triple negative. Research shows are more like to have the BRCA 1 genetic mutation.

And certain ethnic groups are more at risk for having trip negative, especially women who are Hispanic or African American.

Since 2006, Allison Axenrod says the foundation has raised millions of dollars for research and support now they're hoping to help women directly.

LINK: http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/