White women have held the highest rates of breast cancer in the U.S., but rates are rising among black women.
According to a report released by the American Cancer Society, from 2006 through 2010, breast cancer rates increased 0.2 percent among black women.
The rates remained stable among white women.
White women still have more cases of breast cancer, however, with about 127 cases per 100,000 compared with 118 cases per 100,000 black women. But deaths from breast cancer are more common among blacks, according to the report published Oct. 1 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The gap is closing most among women aged 50 to 59 years old, and the reasons why aren’t clear, the researchers say. “Even with all the attention and awareness raised around breast cancer, the incidence of the disease holds steady,” said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
During the research period, the death rate was 30.8 per 100,000 black women compared to 22.7 per 100,000 among white women.
Stage for stage, black women have a worse prognosis. Researchers have been unable to link a direct cause for the increase.
Deaths from breast cancer have dropped 34 percent since 1990 among all women except for American Indians/Alaska Natives.
While the reasons are unclear for the increase of cases in black women, the level of resources in our communities are scarce. Thoughts?
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