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Why Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Persist

The gap in breast cancer incidence and outcome among black women is complex and multifactorial. Social, economic, and behavioral factors may partially account for the disparity. Black women are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and are less likely to breastfeed after childbirth—all of which are risk factors for breast cancer.

They are also more likely than white women to have inadequate health insurance or access to health care facilities, which may affect access to screening, follow-up care, and completion of therapy.

Through continued research, it is becoming increasingly clear that biology also plays a role. Black women are about twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with more aggressive forms of tumors, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and they are often diagnosed at more advanced stages.

See “Black women and breast cancer: why disparities persist and how to end them” on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation website (January 25, 2022)

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