Black Women More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer
Black women in the US are less likely to get breast cancer than white women, but are more likely to die from it. That's according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC data collected from 2005 to 2009 show black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. It's a finding CDC Deputy Director Ileana Arias calls unacceptable.
“But fortunately for us,” Arias said, “we also know that (excess deaths) are avoidable.”
Arias said the death rate can come down if black women receive the same quality care as white women. Researchers found it took some doctors longer to follow up with black women after an abnormal screening, and that black women on average began treatment later after they were diagnosed with cancer.
Dolores Moorehead with the Oakland-based Women's Cancer Resource Center says doctors also need to work with the community to encourage more black women to participate in clinical trials.
“The history of things that have occurred with the African American community have made people a little bit hesitant about participating if they see it as 'someone's testing something on me',” Moorehead said.
The study found a lack of insurance and difficulty navigating the health care system also contributed to health disparities. CDC officials say provisions of the Affordable Care Act will boost black women's access to prevention and treatment.