BLACK VOICES
07/14/2017 03:30 pm ET

Sierra Leonean Student Is Developing An Alternative Breast Cancer Treatment

Sandra Musujusu's research focuses on a type of breast cancer that commonly affects black women.

An African University of Science and Technology, Abuja student is making groundbreaking discoveries in the way cancer is treated.

Sandra Musujusu is developing an alternative treatment for a subtype of breast cancer commonly found in black women, according to the Nigerian Tribune.

“My research is actually centered on the development of biodegradable polymers for treatment of breast cancer,” Musujusu told the Tribune. “I will be focusing on triple negative breast cancer, which is actually the aggressive subtype of breast cancer that is common with women from African ancestry.”

The Sierra Leone native’s research was unveiled on July 6 when World Bank director Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi visited the Nigerian school as a part of his assessment tour of the 10 African Centers of Excellence locations, funded to encourage research to benefit African countries facing problems.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women around the world. In 2012, there were 1.7 million new cases worldwide, according to World Cancer Research Fund International. In the United States alone, black women with breast cancer have the highest mortality rate than any other race, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It’s also the second leading cause of cancer death among black women. 

Musujusu, whose research has been sponsored by the Pan African Materials Institute, told the Tribune that she believes her work is a big step for medical advancements in Africa. 

“I believe there is a bright future for Africa, and as a woman there is much more we can do if we are empowered,” she said. “This award given to me by PAMI has empowered me to face my studies with more confidence and actually contribute to the frontier of knowledge and move Africa forward.”

HuffPost has reached out to African University of Science and Technology and will update this article accordingly.

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