Statistics: Black women more at risk for breast cancer
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - In the Black community, women are more at risk for breast cancer, according to statistics. Their mortality rate is also higher than any other race.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. But Black women have the highest breast cancer mortality rate than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. That number stands at 31% in women between the ages of 20-59.
According to statistics, that higher rate can be attributed to a socio-economic disadvantage, genetics and access to healthcare.
“African American women are not necessarily at a higher rate of diagnosis, we’re just at a higher mortality because we seek treatment at a later stage in our diagnosis,” said Ursula Mathis Dennis, Phoebe Cancer Center director of quality.
When asked about access for women living in smaller cities that may not have a cancer center, Dennis said no one can do this alone, and providers and patients need to work together for the best outcome.
“The key is really getting established with your health care team, so that team can manage your screening, so that team can manage your preventive care,” she said.
COVID-19 made battling cancer a lonely journey for most people.
For Tara Brown, a breast cancer survivor, it was an emotionally isolating and challenging time as well.
“That was the hardest part, finding out by myself and going to these doctor appointments by myself. But it went so fast when I found out my doctor had given me a week to kind of settle in it and then my surgery was the following week,” Brown said.
Although it’s hard to do sometimes, Brown urges women to start putting themselves first.
“You don’t want to go through this if you don’t have to. It’s a hard journey. It’s not like you have this journey and when they tell you you’re cancer free, it ends, it doesn’t end. Because even though I’m 11 months cancer free, I’m now for the next two years on chemo pills. I take a pill in the morning and one in the evening so it’s still a bit difficult.” Brown said.
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