A new study revealed that black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate when compared to white women, and the difference appears to be increasing.
From 2010 to 2014, the mortality rate for black women with breast cancer was 30.7 deaths per 100,000 patients. For white women it was 21.4 deaths per 100,000 patients, resulting in a 43 percent higher mortality rate for African Americans.
The results are an average that resulted from comparing mortality rates in different cities across the U.S. Atlanta showed the largest gap in racial disparity concerning the research, where black women are 117 percent more likely to die from the disease.
Get tested for breast cancer, regardless of race
The study was carried out by the Avon Foundation for Women. It surveyed the 50 largest cities in the U.S. for breast cancer statistics between 2005 and 2014. The Sinai Urban Health Institute alongside the Breast Cancer Research Foundation led the primary research efforts.
Researchers determined that the major factor contributing to the mortality difference is health care disparity. Furthermore, the gap appears to be growing, perhaps due to a lack of early detection from patients and delayed treatment. The study concluded that there is a need to increase access to breast cancer screening and treatment, especially for black women.
“We were surprised that the disparity in Black:White breast cancer mortality rates has continued to grow in the U.S. and in the majority of cities studied,” stated study author Bijou Hunt.
The results will allow health officials to draft better health care solutions configured specifically for each city where the difference in breast cancer mortality was present. Over half of the surveyed cities showed a higher mortality for black women with breast cancer, compared to white women. But the disparity appeared to drop between 2005 and 2008 in Boston, Philadelphia, and Memphis.
“There was a significant need to understand these racial disparities in order to focus efforts and resources where they are most needed. As the company for women, Avon puts women at the center of everything we do,” stated Cheryl Heinonen, President of the Avon Foundation for Women.
The Avon Foundation for Women is an advocate for active efforts against breast cancer, one of the primary fatal diseases for women in the United States. Over 40,000 deaths are expected to occur in 2016 due to breast cancer. Currently, the Avon Foundation for Women is donating over $800 million to breast cancer programs for developing access to screening and medical care even if the patient is not able to pay.
Since its founding in 1992, the Avon Foundation for Women has contributed towards the fight against breast cancer. It focuses on vulnerable populations throughout the United States and the world, as it has provided over $1 billion globally to over 50 countries for its programs, including the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.
Source: Cancer Epidemiology