Love & Marriage's Kimmi Scott Has Poignant Advice For Black Women Going To The Doctor - Exclusive

"Love & Marriage: Huntsville" star Kimmi Scott felt a lump in her breast when she was 33 years old. Without hesitation, she made an appointment to see her doctor to check it out. At first, she wasn't concerned, but she later found another lump under her arm. A mammogram and an ultrasound confirmed her suspicion — triple negative, ductal invasive carcinoma.

According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Black women are more likely to have more aggressive types of breast cancer such as triple-negative carcinoma compared to white women. Black women are also more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age. A 2002 study from the Journal of the National Medical Association found that 10% of breast cancer cases among Black women were diagnosed before the age of 40; among white women, 5% of breast cancers were found in women under 40.

During her exclusive interview with Health Digest, Scott urged her fans and community to be bold about their health. "We have to feel a little more comfortable with talking, and we have to feel a little more comfortable with holding our physicians to the fire. A lot of us are intimidated by our physicians, so whatever they say goes," she said. "If you feel something that's not quite right — you've got drainage from your nipple or it's inverse — tell somebody. Don't just go home because it looks bad."

Know the facts about Black women and breast cancer

Kimmi Scott says it's important for Black women to know the facts. In the past, access to proper healthcare had been the reason to explain the disparity in breast cancer outcomes between Black and white women, according to New York-Presbyterian. Now, researchers are looking into how a Black woman's ancestry might factor into the higher likelihood of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. According to a 2019 study in Cancer, triple-negative breast cancer is more prevalent among Black women born in the United States and in West Africa. Black women born in the Caribbean and East Africa had lower incidences of this more invasive breast cancer.

Being empowered with more information allows women to have better conversations with their doctors, Scott said. This also means questioning doctors from time to time. "When you know that something isn't quite right, that's your job to hold your physician to the fire," Scott said. "You don't walk away and be like, 'Oh, my doctor said so and so.' If that doctor doesn't quite do it for you, go to the next one."

Scott also emphasized that talking with friends and family about your breasts is important. "We somehow have this whole secretive thing," she said. "I felt a little embarrassed to be diagnosed with breast cancer. It's kind of like another silent killer because we don't want to talk about it. We don't want to go into detail."

"Love & Marriage: Huntsville" is the #1 show on OWN and the most-watched series among Black women. You can catch Kimmi and the rest of the cast Saturday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT.