Race Discrimination and Breast Cancer Are Connected

S. Mary Wills of the Black Factor blog raises an important issue, especially crucial for these times when denial of racism is being internalized at highest of legal stages.

Racial Discrimination Linked to Breast Cancer in Black Women Active racism is all about waging mental and psychological warfare on the targets of the intended discrimination and harassment. Sure, a racist may want to deny a Black worker a promotion or prevent a Black person from being hired into a certain job, but the racist also often wants and needs to present a wider and more negative image of the Black person throughout a department, office, etc. A racist will often seek to create a pretext for their words and actions against a Black worker.

Time after time, when we listen to Blacks that have been the target of racism at work, we don’t just hear that they were passed over for promotions for example. We also hear stories about false accusations (insubordination, untrue performance deficiencies, false claims of personality or communication issues, etc.) that were used to justify any actions or claims made by coworkers, supervisors or managers. Targets of discrimination go through all sorts of stress and emotional turmoil on top of the professional turmoil and upheaval caused by the actions of a racist at work.

No one would choose to be a part of such chaos. For anyone wrongly perceiving the victims of racism as nothing more than “race baiters,” “cry babies,” and “complainers,” here’s a research study that points to the physiological impact of racial discrimination on victims or those who perceive themselves to be the victioms of racial discrimination.

A research study, lead by Dr. Teletia Taylor, found that Black women who’ve felt like the victims of racial discrimination are more likely than their peers to develop breast cancer.

The study included nearly 60,000 Black women, who were followed for a six year period. The study found that Black women that reported more incidences of racial discrimination and bias had a higher risk of breast cancer than those that did not. This was found most strongly in Black women under the age of 50. FYI: Breast cancer is more common in young Black women than young White women.

The full results of the research study are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology–and should be taken very seriously. Racism hurts…just like it’s supposed to!! There is a mental and physical price to be paid, when dealing with chronic and regular racial discrimination at work or anywhere else.