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Improving care for breast cancer patients in Black communities – UHN

February 1, 2024

Michelle Audoin will never forget how scary it was to have a benign mass removed from her breast at the tender age of 14. More than anything, she remembers the shame she felt when she looked in the mirror and saw the scarring it left behind.

When she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer 26 years later, requiring a bilateral mastectomy, she found herself struggling with the same challenges. As a Black woman, she didn’t know how breast reconstruction would look on her, lacked guidance about how to manage scarring on Black skin, and was disappointed by the scarcity of resources for Black people with breast cancer.

She decided to do something about it.

“I had to reconcile the 14-year-old girl inside me who still had this shame about my scarring and the need to see myself represented to make an informed decision about my treatment options,” says Michelle, 47.

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