Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Rates, Report Finds | NBC Connecticut
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Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Rates, Report Finds

The death rate is higher for black women than white women by about 40 percent

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    A file photo from a Breast Cancer walk in Southern California.

    Despite innovative technology for detection and treatment of breast cancer, black women continue to have the highest rate of mortality, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.

    The report released on Thursday found that black and white women now have roughly similar incidences of breast cancer. For black women, this is bad news; for the past 40 years, they have had the lowest prevalence of breast cancer. That health advantage has disappeared, with increased incidences of cancer.

    In addition to increased frequency of breast cancer, the death rate is higher for black women than white women by about 40 percent. White women are seeing a faster decrease in mortality.

    The CDC report noted that the prevalence of cancer for white women has steadily decreased, and increased for black women, especially for those 60-79 years old. These trends are unique to black women; overall, the trends for the last few decades have shown less incidence and mortality from breast cancer.

    While the relationship between obesity and breast cancer is unknown, the incidence of both have increased in black populations, according to the report. Increased physical activity and healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight may help in subsiding the incidence of breast cancer, the report says.

    But above all, the report suggested that if care for all women was equal, there might be less exaggerated differences between black and white women.

    “Measures to ensure access to quality care and the best-available treatments for all women diagnosed with breast cancer can help address these racial disparities,” it said.