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What You Don’t Know About the Most Aggressive Type of Breast Cancer (and Why it Disproportionately Affects Black Women)

What You Don’t Know About the Most Aggressive Type of Breast Cancer (and Why it Disproportionately Affects Black Women)




More than 280,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and many of them will survive and thrive. But those with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have a far less optimistic outlook.



The Facts about metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC):


  • TNBC is the most aggressive type of breast cancer, and its impact is not equally felt: Black women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with TNBC than women of other ethnicities.


  • TNBC has historically seen limited treatment advances, leaving younger women in the prime of their lives with fewer options.


  • TNBC is associated with higher rates of recurrence and is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.


  • Overall, Black women have a 42% higher mortality rate from breast cancer compared to other ethnicities.




In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, on this episode of the podcast, I am joined by Dr. Monique Gary, DO, MSc, FACS, of the Grand View Health/Penn Cancer Network Cancer Program; and Ricki Fairley, breast cancer survivor and CEO and Co-Founder of The Black Breast Cancer Alliance to address Black Breast Cancer as a unique and special disease state, the outlook for Black women living with breast cancer, and how recent treatment advances offer hope of ​reducing the mortality rate for Black women.




About Our Guests 


Monique Gary DO, MSc, FACS is a board certified, fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist, and medical director of the Grand View Health/Penn Cancer Network cancer program in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, where she also serves as director of the breast program.

image source: drmoniquegary.com


Dr. Gary holds clinical faculty appointments at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Penn Medicine, and Texas Christian University/UNT Health Sciences in Fort Worth, Texas. As a physician, researcher, advocate, and expert on cancer and healthcare disparities, she is passionate about developing integrative, holistic, and innovative approaches to cancer treatment, prevention, and survivorship both in the Delaware Valley and throughout the world.


Dr. Gary serves on the board of several national oncology advocacy and empowerment organizations, serving as medical director for Touch, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance, and a medical advisor for Tigerlily Foundation. She is also a member of the board of directors for the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Gary was recognized as a Leading Physician of the World and Top Breast Surgeon in Pennsylvania for 2017, 2018, and 2019, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the highest distinction awarded to surgeons in the nation.




Ricki Fairley is a triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) survivor and the Co-Founder and CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance. She is an award-winning marketer that has transformed her strategic acumen into breast cancer advocacy. Her mission is to bring attention, research, and action to eradicating Black breast cancer.

Ricki founded and serves as co-host for BlackDoctor.org’s weekly web series The Doctor Is In. She is a founding member of #BlackDataMatters, in partnership with Breastcancer.org, Ciitizen, The Center for Health Care Innovation, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Susan G Komen Foundation to encourage and elevate the importance of Black women participating in clinical trial research. She founded Breast Cancer United, a global movement garnering the collective strength of over 60 leading international breast cancer organizations.


Ricki serves on the Board of Trustees for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation where she leads the marketing committee and directs multicultural outreach. She is a board member for the Center for Healthcare Innovation, a non-profit research and educational institute making healthcare more equitable. She serves as an Ambassador and Advisor for the Live Humanly Campaign and works with pharmaceutical companies to provide the patient advocate voice for breast cancer awareness, action, therapy/drug development, and advocacy.



Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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