Doctors have made great strides in fighting breast cancer, but not everyone is benefiting equally: Black women, in particular, are 40 percent more likely to die from the disease than any other racial or ethnic group.
So said health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a special report released Wednesday.
Although breast cancer rates have been dropping the past 20 years, "black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at lower rates than white women, and yet [blacks] have higher death rates," CDC deputy director Ileana Arias said.
"As a public health official and as a woman, I find these disparities in breast cancer deaths unacceptable," she added.
The CDC said reasons for the disparity include more aggressive cancers and fewer social and economic resources. To improve this disparity, black women need more timely follow-up and improved access to high-quality treatment.
Other highlights of the CDC report:
- About 40,000 U.S. women die from breast cancer each year.
- There are nine more deaths per 100 breast cancer cases among black women than white women.
- More black women are diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer (45 percent) than white women (35 percent).
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