Breast cancer death rates dropped by 43% from 1989 to 2020, yet black women continue to be 40% more likely to die from the disease despite lower incidence. These are the ﬁndings outlined in the latest edition of American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Statistics, 2022, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Black women have lower breast cancer incidence than White women (127.8 vs. 133.7 per 100,000), but 40% higher breast cancer mortality (27.6 vs. 19.7 per 100,000). Among women under 50, mortality is two-fold higher (12.1 vs. 6.5 per 100,000). This racial disparity has persisted unabated since 2011.
“We found that despite continued progress in reducing the risk of death from breast cancer, there is an alarming persistent gap for Black women, who have a 40% higher risk of dying from breast cancer than White women despite lower incidence. This is not new, and it is not explained by more aggressive cancer.” said Rebecca Siegel, MPH, senior scientiﬁc director, surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and senior author of the report. “We have been reporting this same disparity year after year for a decade. It is time for health systems to take a hard look at how they are caring differently for Black women.”
Other key ﬁndings from the report include:
“The slow decline in breast cancer mortality during the most recent period partly reﬂects stagnant screening uptake and suboptimal receipt of timely and high-quality treatment,” said Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, senior vice president, surveillance & health equity science and contributing author of the study. “Coordinated and concerted efforts by policy makers and healthcare systems and providers are needed to provide optimal breast cancer care to all populations, including expansion of Medicaid in the non-expansion Southern and Midwest states, where Black women are disproportionately represented. Also, increased investment is needed for improved early detection methods and treatments.”
“Lawmakers can and must do more to address the unequal burden of breast cancer among Black women, including increasing funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), a program jointly funded by federal and state governments that helps improve access to lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings,” said Lisa A Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy afﬁliate of the American Cancer Society. “Taking this step is critical to closing this persistent gap and moving us closer to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone.”Back To Top
ACS Report: Black Women Still More Likely to Die From Breast Cancer. Appl Rad Oncol.