Breast cancer death risk greatest among black women

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 10, 2012

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Black women have higher death rates due to breast cancer than any other racial or ethnic group, according to a November Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report (link). Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer compared with white women.

Physicians can help reduce the disparity by talking to patients about their breast cancer risks and using electronic reminders or other methods to make sure patients get recommended tests and treatments, the report said.

Data from 2010 show that black and white women have equal screening rates for breast cancer, but the disease is more likely to spread beyond the breast in black women diagnosed through those screenings. Black women are more likely to wait longer for follow-up appointments after abnormal mammograms, with 20% waiting more than 60 days compared with 12% of white women. Sixty-nine percent of black women begin treatment within 30 days of a breast cancer diagnosis, compared with 83% of white women.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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