Embrace: Breast Cancer Among the Black/African American Population

August 5, 2022

Recent research may have uncovered a link to providing Black/African American women who have a breast cancer diagnosis with improved treatment options. Since 2019, breast cancer has become the leading cause of cancer deaths for black women (American Cancer Society, 2022). The American Cancer Society (2022) reports that Black/African American women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women even though their incidence rates are similar to or lower than those of White women. This is primarily due to disparities driven by decades of structural racism that the Black community has experienced leading to inequities in the social determinants of health and access to healthcare.

The American Cancer Society (2022) has suggested that only a small fraction of the racial differences in cancer deaths can be attributed to genetic differences. It has launched an initiative to not only expand access to health care across diverse populations but increase trust in the medical community through culturally sensitive provider education. Additionally, new information from this recent study may shed light on some genetic differences and lead to better treatment outcomes for Black/African American women. Hassenein (2022) reports researchers in this latest study discovered that 8 specific genes that repair DNA damage signaled differently in Black women’s breast cells than white women’s cells. These findings indicate that Black women who are diagnosed with the most common breast cancer subtype, estrogen receptor positive (ER+) could benefit from earlier treatment with CDK inhibitors, a type of drug that helps stop cancer cells from multiplying (paras. 7-9).


To continue reading about breast cancer among Black/African American women visit the links below:

ACS Medical Content and News Staff. (2022, February 14). 2022 cancer facts & figures cancer for African American/black people: More black women die from breast cancer than any other cancer. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from the American Cancer Society - click HERE to view.

Cancer disparities in the Black Community. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from the American Cancer Society - click HERE to view.

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