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.
- See “Race-Related Cancer Disparities Fall with Screening Mammography” by Whitney J. Palmer on the Diagnostic Imaging website (February 20, 2020)
- See abstract of scientific paper “Evaluation of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Early Detection via Mammography Screening and Outcomes in African American and White American Patients” by Yalei Chen et al.