Founded at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Breast Cancer Mortality Rates Down, But “We Are Still Failing Black Women”

While earlier detection of breast cancer and continued improvements in therapy have led to decreasing mortality rates overall, today Black women experience a 41% higher death rate than White women as a result of breast cancer.

In an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dr. Christine Edmonds and PC3I Faculty Dr. Oluwadamilola “Lola” Fayanju share several ways in which Black women experience socioeconomic barriers and systemic biases that impact breast cancer treatment and survival. Severe underrepresentation of Black women in both clinical trials and the validation of risk assessment models only exacerbate disparities in diagnosis and prognosis. Furthermore, current mammographic screening recommendations discourage screening women ages 40-49, which disproportionately harms Black women, for whom diagnosis rates are comparatively higher under age 45.

In order to begin addressing these failures, Edmonds and Fayanju present several recommendations to both clinicians and patients, which are outlined in their Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed. Further coverage can be found on Newswise, HemOnc Today, Florida News Times, Wink News, CBS Atlanta, and CBS Miami.

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