Racial disparities continue despite drop in breast cancer death rates

Yan Ling Zhong, Jen Brodeur
Posted at 9:12 AM, Oct 07, 2022

The breast cancer death rate has dropped by 43% from 1989 to 2020, but the disease continues to disproportionally affect Black and Brown women.

According to the American Cancer Society, Black women have a lower breast cancer incidence than white women, however, their mortality rate is 40% higher.

“We have been reporting this same disparity year after year for a decade. It is time for health systems to take a hard look at how they are caring differently for Black women," said Rebecca Siegel, senior scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Black and Hispanic women, according to the study.

The American Cancer Society is calling for increased investments in early detection methods and treatment, which it says can save lives.

“Taking this step is critical to closing this persistent gap and moving us closer to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone," said Lisa A. Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.