The latest study of breast cancer still shows a big gap in the survival between black and white women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black woman are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Researchers say the difference has to do with black women being more sick by the time they come in and are diagnosed rather than any differences of how they are treated.
Black patients had poorer health at diagnosis, including more advanced disease, worse biological features of the disease, and larger tumor size.
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women, killing about one in 36 women in the USA annually.
American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer
The American Cancer Society recommends these screening guidelines for most adults.
• Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
• Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
• Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2% of all the women in the US.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
For more information, call the American Cancer Society and ask for our document called Breast Cancer: Early Detection.