Find Out Why The Survival Rate For Black Women Is Still The Lowest In This Country

#BreastCancerAwarenessMonth

Breast Cancer Survivor
Photo Credit: Photo: canadajournal.net

| October 10 2017,

1:27 pm

From HIV diagnosis rates to maternal mortality, when it comes to health and wellness issues, statistically black women are disproportionately affected on virtually all fronts. In keeping with this tragic trend, a report released by the American Cancer Society on Tuesday shows that black women have a significantly lower chance of surviving breast cancer than women of other races. 

While death rates have seen an overall decline over the 26 years between 1989 and 2015, white women have a 39 percent greater chance of surviving breast cancer than black women. Meanwhile, Asian, Latina, and Native American have lower rates of breast cancer and breast cancer-related deaths than white women. So why are black women lagging behind in yet another health-related area? What's the cause? Well, for one, black women are typically diagnosed with a different, more aggressive kind of breast cancer tumor - triple negative breast cancer. Tamoxifen, the wonder drug that is largely responsible for the overall improvement in death rates, treats another type of breast cancer, the type that white women are more likely to get - hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

In addition, socioeconomic issues like the wage gap, which also disproportionality effects black women, plays a part. While Black women get mammograms slightly more often than white women, due to lack of insurance, paid time off from work, and access to follow-up care also contribute to the difference in survival rates.

Yet another reminder of the all-encompassing effects that racism has on the lives of black women.




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