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Higher breast cancer mortality for Black women emerged 40 years ago

The high burden of breast cancer mortality in African American women versus White women began in the United States in the 1980’s, according to a history co-written by Hyuna Sung (above) of the American Cancer Society. At that time, breast cancer screening with mammography and treatments such as adjuvant post-surgery hormonal therapy were disseminated widely in the United States, but unequally among Black and White women.

The current much higher rate of breast cancer mortality in Black women compared with White women is a reversal from before 1980, when Black women had lower breast cancer mortality.