News, Stories, Guidelines, Opinions, History

Breast cancer surpasses lung as top cause of cancer death among Black women

Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer-associated death among Black women in the U.S. Black women are at lower risk for a breast cancer diagnosis but 41% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, according to the new Cancer Statistics for African American/Black People 2022. Within the past 5 data years, Black women had an 8% lower overall cancer incidence compared with White women but a 12% higher mortality rate.

The higher mortality rates are partially a consequence of late-stage diagnoses. Two-thirds (67%) of breast cancers among white women are detected at an early stage compared with 57% of those detected among Black women, according to the report.

Overall survival five years after breast cancer diagnosis is 92% among white women vs. 82% among Black women. Moreover, Black women achieved shorter survival regardless of stage at breast cancer diagnosis, a trend the American Cancer Society authors attributed to reduced access to high-quality health care.

Scroll to Top