Black women have higher breast cancer death rates, face racial disparities in screening: UIC study

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Black women have higher recurrence and higher mortality rates compared to non-Hispanic white women, for certain types of breast cancer, according to a University of Illinois Chicago researcher's study published recently in JAMA Oncology.

Doctor Kent Hoskins is an associate professor with UIC's division of hematology and oncology.

"We've known for more than three decades that Black women in this country have at least a 40% higher mortality rate compared to other woman," said Hoskins. "That's been generally attributed to inequities in high quality screening and high quality treatment, but we also know that the biology of the tumor plays a role."

A commonly-used test to decide who needs chemo therapy for breast cancer is not as accurate in Black woman because original studies that were done to develop that test had a very small representation of Black woman, less than 5%, according to Hoskins.

The same is true for treatment studies.

"To erase that problem, we need more representation in racial and ethnic minority women in various types of research," said Hoskins.

Hoskins said that it's important to "know your own risk factors, talk to your doctor, be your own advocate."

For more information on the study click here.
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