Black women are dying of breast cancer at higher rates compared with white women in Chicago, but the reason is not just a lack of access to mammography, David Ansell, MD (above) of Rush University and his colleagues discovered. It was lack of access to quality mammography.
Large-volume screening centers have higher-quality scores than lower-volume centers, which are more likely to be “safety-net hospitals in Black and Brown communities,” Ansell noted. Many of these lower-volume hospitals were missing cancers already developing in Black women far more often than they were missed in white women. The researchers confirmed this by going back to the patients’ prior mammograms, and actually documenting those cancers that were missed in the images.
Ansell called the healthcare systems in the nation’s cities with the largest Black populations “apartheid healthcare systems in which institutions where Black people go are deprived of the assets that they need to provide good care, and therefore, systemically worse care is provided.”
See “Low-Quality Mammography Leading to More Deaths in Black Women, Says Expert” by Cheryl Clark on the MedPage Today website (October 26, 2021)