Black women are much more likely to die from breast cancer than white women according by a study carried out by The Avon Foundation for Women.
The study was conducted by the Sinai Urban Health Institute in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and looked at the 50 largest U.S. cities between 2010 and 2014. According to the findings, black women are dying from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women, and whats more, the disparity between mortality rates is on the rise. The study also found that African American women were 43% more likely to die than their Caucasian counterparts, as reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.
Collecting the data from these cities, Atlanta was home to the highest disparity in survivors, with black women 117% more likely to die from breast cancer over white ones. The odds were also heavily skewed against black women in Austin, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas; and Kansas city, Missouri.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in this country, and some 40,450 are expected to succumb to the disease in 2016 alone. This Avon Foundation-funded study didn't look for why black women have much bleaker prognosis, however.
"Several factors could be at work such as lack of access to early detection screenings, treatment, advocates, insurance", said Dr. Marc S. Hurlbert of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, who is calling for more research to understand the disparity.
If a black woman can't detect breast cancer in its early stages, she faces more serious late-stage diagnosis and delayed treatments. And if she's the breadwinner of her family, she faces the struggle of taking out time off work for doctor appointments and deliberating chemo and radiation treatments will interfere with work and how she cares for her family.