What's at stake here? Black women are less likely to participate in genetic risk assessment & counseling. Less likely than white women to know about risk reducing therapies. #NSGC20
Black women also have less knowledge about risk factors for breast cancer & perceive themselves to be at lower risk for developing it. All of this contributes to the fact that Black women in the US are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. #NSGC20
Erika also shares her personal story of discovering that she is a carrier of a BRCA mutation. #NSGC20
Erika brings up the question of whether she would have even known that she was a carrier if she hadn't gone to a college at UNC & her mom sought care for breast cancer at UNC bc she grew up in a small town where there was limited access to genetic counseling. #NSGC20
Erika shares the privileges that she had in accessing testing: access to academic medical center, access to GCs, insurance, job w/ flexible schedule and high medical literacy due to her social network. #NSGC20
And highlights that all of these privileges had to come together for her to access the care that she received. And that's not always the case for everyone. #NSGC20
Erika highlights some of the challenges & barriers in DEI in genetic counseling & testing: lack of awareness about what genetic counseling & testing is, why it's of benefit & protections associated w/ genetic testing. #NSGC20
A solution Erika offers is to target outreach to orgs that have credibility in the Black community such as churches, historically Black sororities and fraternities, Black publications such as Essence, ZORA, Refinery 29 Unbothered. #NSGC20
"You have to meet people where they are to get them this information." - Erika #NSGC20
Another challenge: there is a lack of Black women and other minorities in BRCA/hereditary cancer awareness. When Erika first learned she was a carrier she spent a lot of time looking for resources or support that was aimed at Black women and there really wasn't anything. #NSGC20
We know that undergoing genetic counseling and testing requires people to understand that there is something relevant to them but that's not going to happen if there aren't any stories or experiences of people that look like them. #NSGC20
Another challenge that Erika brings up is the lack of education among primary care physicians. And that due to existing disparities, Black women are more likely to discuss risk for breast & ovarian cancer w/ a PCP or OBGYN vs specialist. #NSGC20
And that lack women are less likely to be referred for genetic counseling even when they meet the criteria. #NSGC20
And that there is a perception that BRCA only impacts Ashkenazi Jewish women. <- This also extends to other genetic testing as well. #NSGC20
Some solutions that Erika suggests include: targeted education/training for PCPs and OB/GYNs on "red flags" for referral to genetic counseling. <- This is also why we as a GC profession need to step up & educate other HCPs. #NSGC20
Should we consider amendments to NCCN criteria because the criteria doesn't do a great job of identifying high risk Black women at the moment. #NSGC20
Erika recommends a soon to be published article in the Journal of Clinical Breast cancer (someone double check me) with more information about breast cancer in Black women. #NSGC20
Call to Action: How Can We Work Together? We can't do advocacy work alone. #NSGC20
Erika highlights the Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans @ECANAwomen as an ex. of a patient/medical provider partnership. They bring together patients & researchers & providing basic education & medical literacy that a patient needs during a cancer dx. #NSGC20
Without increased genetic testing in minority populations we will see more disparities particularly with those associated w/ breast cancer. #NSGC20
Q&A time with @quidditch424 & @altovisee! Submit your questions in the chat! #NSGC20 Image
Q: What does a collaboration to increase access to genetic testing look like? A: Getting everyone into the room to have conversations about challenges. Patients, researchers, providers, etc... Black patients have to build up the trust to go through genetic testing. #NSGC20
Receiving a VUS may make some Black patients feel betrayed by the results so how do we address that? I worry that no one is thinking about how you get genetic testing to Black patients. -ES #NSGC20
I worry that in 20 years cancer is something that's not going to impact White people and it's going to disproportionately impact minorities unless we do the work now. -ES #NSGC20
How do we improve visible & invisible diversity within the profession? Build up the pipeline. Meeting people where they are. Going to HBCUs. Writing op-ed pieces in outlets that are relevant. #NSGC20
Too often people come to miniorties and ask for advice but they aren't listening. Waaah the audio cut out???? #NSGC20
I can't believe the audio cut out just as Erika made the point that people weren't listening. #NSGC20
I can't believe the session is already over. Thank you so much @quidditch424 & @altovisee! I wish we could have continued that discussion for a lot longer. #NSGC20

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Aishwarya Arjunan, MS, MPH, CGC,CPH (she/her/hers)

Aishwarya Arjunan, MS, MPH, CGC,CPH (she/her/hers) Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @aishuarjun

21 Nov
I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award & thank you so much to @carrie_haverty for the nomination. Having you as a mentor, colleague & ally has meant so much.
But if I can say something else, I am also incredibly frustrated at our NSGC community #NSGC20 #GCchat
To see people make excuses & provide reasons as to why they may not have participated in the membership DEI survey is ridiculous. Yes, we are in the middle of a pandemic. We ALL are. & everyone has been impacted in some way or another. That is not an excuse. #NSGC20 #GCchat
People that are BIPOC are doing more of the work than ANYONE in the majority with not only a pandemic going on but also fearing for their lives and safety due to the environment we live in. #NSGC20 #GCchat
Read 11 tweets
20 Nov
What are things you wish other GCs knew? Or misconceptions that you want to correct?
@shreshthaGC #NSGC20
1. Ambition is not a bad thing. Ambition should be valued as a positive.
2. We tend value loyalty over innovation or over growth and we need to change that.
@twitherington #NSGC20 I am not my company. You may disagree with some policies but at the end of the day we are all trying to do good work.
#NSGC20 @SohneeAhmed
Psychosocial counseling is still a part of what I do. Even if I don't have direct face-to-face patient interaction I still am utilizing my GC skills and it doesn't make me less of a counselor by moving from clinical to non-clinical.
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
Ready for our state of the society address with @gillianhoo!!! #NSGC20
Gillian highlights the challenges of this year with COVID, social and racial injustice and general uncertainty. And we've had to face all of this head on knowing that inaction reflects the biggest mistake we could make. #NSGC20
But it's been a test of our skills and training. We've had to shift, pivot, flex, and understand what we can and can't control. Through it all, our strength has come from our incredible growing energetic community of GCs. #NSGC20
Read 64 tweets
19 Nov
Next plenary: More than just raising our voices: confronting injustices in patient care moderated by @ERamosSD! #NSGC20
Shawneequa Callier highlights some issues we've been discussing: lagging diversity w/i the scientific community which then translates to inequitable policies, guidelines and access. #NSGC20
SC highlights how as more patients were tested in diverse populations we were able to reduce the VUS rate for BRCA in non-White groups. #NSGC20
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!