Breast Cancer Death Rates Drop, but Racial Disparities Remain, American Cancer Society Reports

Breast Cancer Death Rates Drop, but Racial Disparities Remain, American Cancer Society Reports
Advances in medicine have significantly lowered death rates in women with breast cancer, but black women are still more likely to die of the disease than white women, according to an American Cancer Society report. Between 1989 and 2015, breast cancer deaths fell 39 percent. This was mostly due to improvements in treatment and efforts at early detection. Unfortunately, a divide emerged between the survival rates of black and white women in the 1980s, and the situation has not improved. In fact, records from 2015 showed that white women had a 39 percent greater chance of surviving breast cancer than black woman. The figures in the cancer society's Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018 report indicate that the trend is continuing. Interestingly, native American, Hispanic, and Asian women have the lowest rates of breast cancer, the report showed. One of the reasons behind the disparity in ethnic groups' death rates is differences between the types of tumors that different races develop. White women have higher rates of HR+/HER2- breast cancers, while black women tend to have higher rates of triple negative breast cancer, which is extremely difficult to treat. Factors such as obesity and additional diseases also play a role in different races' survival rates. Another issue behind the difference in mortality is access to life-saving drugs. Black women, for example, have less access to Tamoxifen, an effective breast treatment that can improve survival, the report says. Furthermore, black women are less likely to have access to early det
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