A study by National Cancer Institute (NCI) researchers,
published in the journal Archives of Family Medicine in November
1999, revealed an alarming increase in the already troubling
gap between black and white mortality rates due to breast cancer,
from 16 percent in 1990 to 29 percent in 1995. And the NCI data
show that the five-year survival rate for black women with breast
cancer is 71 percent, compared with 87 percent for white women.
Experts have traditionally explained the discrepancy in survival
rates by noting that African-American women tend not to seek
help until their cancers are already at an advanced stage. But
the authors of the NCI report found that mortality among black
women during the 1960s and 1970s was actually lower compared
with that of whites. In 1981, mortality for whites began to drop
sharply in response to more aggressive screening programs and
better chemotherapy protocols.
And that leads to a disturbing conclusion, says Dr. Otis Brawley,
one of the study's authors: that African-American women have
somehow been cheated out of the advances that have taken place
over the past 20 years in mammography, chemotherapy and powerhouse
drugs such as tamoxifen.
Thanks to Cable News Network (via Breastcancer.net)
Report from the American Cancer Society
10/19/00 Mortality still higher than whites
Journal of the American
Public Health Association, 1/01
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