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Could routine mammography eliminate race disparity for women with triple-negative breast cancer?

African-American women face a 40 percent higher death rate from breast cancer, partly due to more cases of triple-negative breast cancer. This kind of cancer does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines or drugs that target HER2 protein receptors.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit studied 193 women who were diagnosed between 2011 and 2015 with triple-negative breast cancer that had not spread. The women, both black and white, whose cancers were caught by routine screening were more likely to survive compared with women whose cancers were detected in later stages.

“Screening mammography is, therefore, an important strategy for reducing race/ethnicity-associated breast cancer disparities by optimizing overall survival for both population subsets,” the researchers wrote.

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