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Curing every kind of breast cancer

In 2013, nearly 300,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am an oncologist at Howard University Hospital and I was one of 27,000 African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer that year.

Now cancer-free after aggressive treatment with chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and targeted therapy to reduce my risk of recurrence, I am about to celebrate my two-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor.  I am grateful every day for the care I received.  As many do after hearing the words “you have cancer,” my family and I sought to give the journey purpose, so we shared our lives during treatment in Ken Burns’ documentary, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.” 

I have also become adamant about educating Congress and other policymakers about the need for increased biomedical research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to find a cure.

Though making it through treatment was not easy, the most challenging part of the cancer battle is fearing what may happen after your treatment ends. There is still so much that we do not know about breast cancer, especially in African-American women.  

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