A new study has found that overall, black women are dying from breast cancer at higher rates than white women.
The Avon Foundation for Women released the study, which examines the Black:White disparities in breast cancer mortality in the 50 largest cities in the United States between 2005 and 2014. It revealed that Black women continue to die from breast cancer at a higher rate than their White counterparts in the United States–in fact they are 43 percent more likely to die from breast cancer– and that the Black:White disparity increased across the country as a whole.
“Avon Foundation recognized early on that there was a significant need to understand these racial disparities in order to focus efforts and resources where they are most needed,” said Cheryl Heinonen, President of the Avon Foundation for Women in a press release. “As the company for women, Avon puts women at the center of everything we do. This is part of our DNA, our history and our legacy to empower women and improve the quality of life of women. And this requires collaboration at all levels.”
Between 2010 and 2014, the breast cancer mortality rate for Black women was 30.7 deaths per 100,000 women and for White women it was 21.4 deaths per 100,000 women. Atlanta experienced the largest increase in the Black:White disparity over the study period, but it should also be noted that there was a statistically significant decrease in the disparity in Memphis, Philadelphia, and Boston.
As far as why there is such a huge gap in deaths, researchers are not completely sure, but causes could include a lack of early detection, late stage diagnosis, and delayed treatment.
Overall the study concluded that there is a critical need to increase access to breast cancer screening and treatment services for African American women.