The Breast Cancer Racial Gap

“The Breast Cancer Racial Gap,” by Tara Parker Pope, The New York Times Well Blog.

A troubling racial divide in breast cancer mortality continues to widen in most major cities around the country, suggesting that advances in diagnosis and treatment continue to bypass African-American women, according to new research.

An analysis of breast cancer mortality trends in 41 of the largest cities in the United States shows that the chance of surviving breast cancer correlates strongly with the color of a woman’s skin. Black women with breast cancer — whether they hail from Phoenix or Denver, Boston or Wichita, Kan. — are on average about 40 percent more likely to die of the disease than white women with breast cancer.

In some cities, the risk is even greater. In Los Angeles, a black woman with breast cancer is about 70 percent more likely to die from the disease than a white woman is. In Memphis, black women face more than double the risk, according to the research, published on Tuesday in Cancer Epidemiology.

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