Disparities in Breast Cancer Survival Persist for Black Women

Black women still have significant survival disparities in breast cancer compared with White women, according to a study published in the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Robert B. Hines, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in Florida between 1990 and 2015. The participants were categorized according to race (White/Black) and Hispanic ethnicity.

The researchers found a decrease in breast cancer mortality for all racial-ethnic groups, with greater absolute and relative improvement for nearly all metrics for racial-ethnic minorities compared with non-Hispanic White women. Black women still experienced significant survival disparities for the most recent time period (2010 to 2015), with non-Hispanic Black women having double the rate of five- and 10-year breast cancer-related death (subdistribution hazard ratios, 2.04 and 2.02, respectively). After adjustment for covariables, the excess rate of breast cancer-related death was substantially reduced for Black women.

“Over the past three decades, we’ve seen an improvement in breast cancer survival for all women — especially for minority women — which is encouraging. However, in the most recent time period, non-Hispanic Black women have twice the rate of breast cancer death compared to non-Hispanic White women,” Hines said in a statement. “We need to celebrate the progress we make, but we have a ways to go to produce equitable outcomes for women diagnosed with breast cancer.”

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