The National Cancer Institute recently shared some disturbing information about the disproportionate rate of cancer survival for black women in America.
Local New York media outlet News 12 Brooklyn published a report on its website, which covered an interview with Dr. Bert Peterson, a breast surgeon at St. Barnabas Hospital. Dr. Peterson cited the National Cancer Institute’s statistical findings when discussing the disparities of black women regarding cancer survival.
According to the National Cancer Institute, black women make up the majority of women under 40 with breast cancer. They are also more likely to lose their life to the disease. Dr. Peterson also told News 12 Brooklyn that cancer comes in more aggressive forms in black women, which makes it more difficult to treat.
The National Cancer Institute described some of the reasons for the disparities among black women regarding cancer survival on its website. A portion of this statement reads as follows:
Lack of medical coverage, barriers to early detection and screening, and unequal access to improvements in cancer treatment may contribute to observed differences in survival between African American/Black and White women. In addition, recent NCI-supported research indicates that aggressive breast tumors are more common in younger African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino women living in low socioeconomic areas. This more aggressive form of breast cancer is less responsive to standard cancer treatments and is associated with poorer survival. (Cancer.gov)
However, the bright side of this scenario is a major project the National Cancer Institute has organized, which will involve extensive research of the low cancer survival rates among black women in America. At the beginning of this month, the National Cancer Institute was awarded a $12 million-dollar grant.
The money will be used to conduct a vast research study that will focus on finding out more about the low cancer survival rate in black women. A higher level of awareness is the first step toward eventually increasing the cancer survival rate among black women in America.
“This is a much-need breakthrough,” said Dr. Peterson. “This is important because we’ve got to do something to address these survival rates,” he continued.