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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Black Women With Breast Cancer in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey Have Higher Survival Rates

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death related to cancer among African-American women between the ages of 45–64. In fact, Black women under age 45 have a higher incident rate than any other race or ethnicity for breast cancer. The survival rate, however, may depend on where you live.

States With Highest Mortality Rates For Black Women

For example, if you live in Tennessee, this state has the highest mortality rate for breast cancer among Black women than any other state in the U.S. Tennessee is closely followed by Mississippi, Texas, Washington D.C., and Michigan. These states also have Black populations that are higher than the national average, and they are among the poorest states in the U.S.

States With the Highest Survival Rates For Black Women

The states with the highest survival rate from breast cancer among African-American women include Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Interestingly, Massachusetts has a health care program similar to the Affordable Care Act that requires everyone to have health insurance and also provides subsidies to low-income residents to help pay for their insurance.

Why Are Black Women Still More Likely To Die From Breast Cancer?

Statistics show there are racial gaps in health care provided for African-Americans. This includes inequities in breast cancer screening and treatment among Black women that increase their risk of dying from the disease. Some of the statistics include:
  • Only 62 percent of Black women start treatment within 30 days, compared with 82 percent of white women.
  • Twenty percent of Black women experienced 60 days between mammograms and diagnosis, compared to only 12 percent among white women.
There is work to be done to close the gap on diagnosis and treatment in order to eliminate the mortality discrepancy between Black and white women. Right now the discrepancy is three years, but by providing the same level of quality care to Black women and ensuring they have access to this care, the gap can be closed.
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