Breast cancer survival and screening rates have improved significantly. However, incidence rates are higher among women of color and more often than not, these women are diagnosed at a later stage. Disparities in breast cancer underserved communities hinge on differences in access to care and disease awareness, but there is more to the story. Through a series of educational programs, Diverse Health Hub will spotlight important issues around breast cancer health equity related news to keep patients and families in the know.
Professor Dorothy Roberts, JD discusses a 2007 study indicating that black women in Chicago had a lower rate of breast cancer than white women, but a higher death rate from the disease.
In 1980, the death rate of both Chicago groups was the same, but diverged dramatically over the next two decades. Black women's death rate didn't increase; it was white women's death rate that decreased by 50% over that period.
The conclusion is that inequity in access to diagnosis and treatment resulted in the survival disparity between these groups of women.