Black women survive less than white women from Breast Cancer

 A    A    Print


PNS News desk : Breast cancer is one of the more survivable cancers, thanks in part to large strides in education, treatment and post-cancer care. An American woman diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975 had about a 75 percent chance of surviving for five years post-diagnosis. Now the rate hovers around 90 percent, according to the latest statistics.

But not all women have benefited from these advances. Black women currently have a national survival rate of 79 percent. In other words, the average contemporary black woman has a survival rate on parity with a white woman from the 1970s.

Black women haven't benefitted from advancements in breast cancer treatment to the same extent as their white counterparts due to factors that include socioeconomic barriers and lack of access to the most comprehensive health services. "The advancements in screening tools and treatment which occurred in the 1990s were largely available to white women, while black women, who were more likely to be uninsured, did not gain equal access to these life-saving technologies," Bijou Hunt, an epidemiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago who recently published a study that examined racial disparities among breast cancer survivors, told Reuters in March.

To be clear, survival rates are improving for both white and black patients. But white patient survival rates are improving at a dramatically faster pace, creating a growing chasm between the groups. That's particularly noteworthy because white women have higher rates of breast cancer in the first place.

PNS News/ Shabi