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The Facts About Breast Cancer and Black Women

  1. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women.[1]

  2. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer for Black women, after lung cancer.[2]

  3. Black women have the highest breast cancer death rates than women of other racial and ethnic groups.[3]

  4. Young Black women under age 40 have a greater incidence of breast cancer than white women of the same age.[4]

  5. Black women are two times more likely to develop triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of cancer for which there are few effective treatment options.[5]  
     
  6. Regardless of the stage when breast cancer is diagnosed, Black women have the worse five-year survival rate than white women: 77 percent vs. 90 percent.[6]

  7. Black women experience delays in testing following abnormal screening results and in receiving care after receiving breast cancer diagnosis.[7] [8]

  8. Breast density is one of the strongest risk factors for Black women in developing breast cancer.
     
  9. Black women are more likely to have dense breasts, which makes detecting changes and tumors more difficult through regular mammography.[9]

  10. Many Black women discover breast masses during routine breast self-examination. When a woman is more familiar with her breast, she can detect subtle changes or abnormalities easier.[10]

 

 

 



[1] American Cancer Society. African American Cancer Facts and Figures 2011-2012. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-027765.pdf

[2] Ibid.

[3] Beadle, B et al. “Ten Year Recurrence Rates in Young Women with Breast Cancer by Locoregional Treatment Approach.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, March 1, 2009

[4] Ibid.

[5] (What African American Women Need to Know About Breast Cancer, http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20188462,00.html).

[6] (American Cancer Society. African American Cancer Facts and Figures 2011-2012. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-027765.pdf).

[7] Short, L. et. al. “Evaluation of Treatment Patterns and Disparities in Commercially Insured Patients Newly-Diagnosed with Breast Cancer.” J Clin Oncol 26: 2008 (May 20 suppl; abstr 6593).

[8] Banerjee et al. “Disentangling the Effects of Race on Breast Cancer Treatment.” Cancer, Vol. 110(10): 2169 – 2177, November 15, 2007.

[9] Beadle, B et al. “Ten Year Recurrence Rates in Young Women with Breast Cancer by Locoregional Treatment Approach.” International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, March 1, 2009

[10] National Cancer Institute. What you need to know about breast cancer. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/breast