According to a new report in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal For Clinicians, breast cancer rates are rising among Black women. The report, released October 1, tracked breast cancer incidence and breast rates from 2006-2010.
White women historically have had the highest breast cancer rates among women over 40, according to the authors, but black women are closing the gap, especially those 50 to 59 years old.
Black women saw a 0.2 percent increase in breast cancer rates during the five-year study period, while there was no change among white, Asian, and American Indian women. Hispanic women saw a 0.6 percent drop in breast cancer rates.
Black women continue to be more likely than other women to be diagnosed with breast cancer before age 40, and were more likely to die of breast cancer at any age compared to other women.
Doctors, unfortunately, have no explanation for the increase. However, previous research has suggested that Black women are more likely to succumb to the disease than white women, so this does not bode well.
Please make sure to check yourselves regularly! Don’t think “I’m too young,” “I’m healthy,” or any of the other excuses. Do a breast self-exam. If you’re unsure of how, check here, where the National Breast Cancer Foundation breaks down different methods for doing so. Precautionary steps are necessary. It could mean the difference between death and survival.