Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Caucasian Women Have More Incidences of Breast Cancer but Have Fewer Deaths than African-Americans

According to the organization, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Breast cancer is caused by hormonal imbalances within the body.  

Incidence rates are higher among Caucasian women

The American Cancer Society states that breast cancer incidence rates are higher among Caucasian women than African American women.  From 2005-2009, the National Cancer Institute reported about 127,300 white women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 121,200 black women were diagnosed.  However, African Americans tend to have a higher incidence rate before forty years of age.

Mortality rates are higher among African American women

Although Caucasian women reported a higher number of incidences of breast cancer, African American women died more from breast cancer.  Of the incidence rates stated previously by the National Cancer Institute, 22,400 Caucasian women died from breast cancer and 31,600 African Americans died.

The lack of screening and diagnosis of breast cancer early causes more deaths.

It doesn’t seem to add up why more white women have the disease but more black women die from it.  A lot of research has been conducted in attempts to try and understand this phenomenon.  According to Susan G. Komen For the Cure, this may be due to differences in specific risk factors, the biology of the breast cancer, but most importantly the breast cancer screening rates and treatment.  There are a number of variables that can lead to African American women to not get screened as often if they do at all.  One variable could be the cost of getting screened especially if one doesn’t have health insurance.  Another variable could just be simply the lack of awareness about the disease and/or screening tests.  Some women also do not have access to screening facilities.

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