Breast Cancer and the African-American Woman

Breast Cancer and the African-American Woman

Why are Black women dying of breast cancer more often than any other race?

Published June 3, 2011

(Photo: www.www.breastcancer.org)

Women of all races are dying less often from breast cancer with the exception of African-American women. Though white women develop breast cancer more often, across all ages, than Black women, white women die 25 percent of the time compared to Black women who die 33.8 percent of the time from breast cancer.

 

For the under 45 group, though, black women develop breast cancer more often than white women, and when they do it’s usually a lot more life threatening. Researchers think that this is because African-American women don’t usually get mammograms until their cancer has progressed to the extreme, which is ultimately harder to treat. Another factor is that triple-negative breast cancer is more common among Black women and does not respond well to the usual treatments.

 

In the African-American community 26,840 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, of those 6,040 will not overcome it. According to the National Cancer Institute here are some of the factors that can put you at risk:

 

—Being overweight or obese

 

—Family history

 

—Drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day

 

—Your age

 

—Your reproductive history

 

While a healthy diet, breast feeding and staying active can help prevent breast cancer, they’re no substitute for early detection. Ask your doctor to show you how to do a breast exam and what should cause alarm. Women over the age of 40 should get their breasts examined every one to two years, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If you’ve had breast cancer in your family you should begin your screenings even sooner.

Written by Brandi Tape

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