Why Breast Cancer Kills More Black Women: They’re Sicker – NBC (click to see original article)

According to this article, doctors and policymakers have known for years that African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. But a new study suggests that breast cancer may be killing black women at a higher rate than whites because they are sicker to start with. The study shows that black women are in poorer shape overall than whites when they are diagnosed. But women have to actively seek care and they have to be vocal about getting the right kind of care. Many experts have suspected that a combination of mistrust and difficulty in getting good medical treatment underlie many of the disparities seen in health. Blacks are more likely to die of a range of diseases, from diabetes to prostate cancer. They found white patients who were the same age, in the same socioeconomic group, who lived in similar neighborhoods, who had similar types of cancer and who also got the same type of treatment as the 7,300 black women – drug type, same type of surgery and same type of radiation therapy. The differences in life expectancy fell to just three months. The study also suggests that black women are not getting other care they need. They were less likely than the white women to have had a recent colon cancer screening or a cholesterol test. Efforts to increase mammography, efforts to increase and improve communication between primary care physicians and patients would be useful.