Government Reports Decline in Death Rates for Breast Cancer: But Racial Disparities Persist

US_CDC_SealThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new data on death rates from breast cancer. Overall the data was encouraging with death rates from breast cancer falling in the 2010-2014 period.

But the data showed that the decline in death rates was faster for White women than for Black women. This was particularly true for older Black women.

millerJacqueline Miller, medical director of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, stated that “the good news is that overall rates of breast cancer are decreasing among Black women. However, when compared with White women, the likelihood that a Black woman will die after a breast cancer diagnosis is still considerably higher.” Dr. Miller, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta and earned her medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis.

The CDC says that personalized medical treatments combined with community-based cancer control efforts that ensure adequate follow-up and treatment after a cancer diagnosis could help decrease breast cancer death rates faster and reduce differences among Black and White women. Women can take steps to help reduce their breast cancer risk by knowing their family history of cancer, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting recommended cancer screenings.

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