Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a new study underscores why it’s so important for African-American women to get screened. According to the Avon Foundation for Women, Black females are dying at higher rates of the disease than white women.
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. Nationally, Black women were 43 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts.
“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.
“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.”
Of the cities looked at in the study, Atlanta experienced the largest disparity, with significant increases in Memphis, Philadelphia and Boston. Yet, why these racial health disparities exist requires more studies despite researchers understanding how lack of early detection, late stage diagnosis, and delayed treatment plays a serious factorin our outcomes.
“It was important to note that some individual cities have shown a decreasing disparity and there is much we can learn from those that are doing well,” said Dr. Marc S. Hurlbert of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and former Executive Director of the Avon Foundation for Women.
“However, the Black:White disparity in breast cancer mortality still exists and needs to be addressed as a public health problem.“