This month we will cover breast cancer and its effects on the African American community. We will discuss disease management and prevention. With better care and resources, we can eliminate the health disparities of breast cancer.

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African American women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer compared to White women or any other racial/ethnic group in the United States. This persistent health disparity exists because African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage, are less likely to receive stage-appropriate treatment, and are more likely to have lower stage-for-stage survival rates. Factors such as cultural norms, societal injustice, and concentrated poverty also contribute to racial breast cancer disparities.

Action plan

Shifting the Curve

The keys to lowering the number of Black women who die of  breast cancer are to


1) Get your mammograms as early as possible

2) Know what your breasts look and feel like

3) Know if other females in the family have breast cancer and or have died from breast cancer

4) Call the American Cancer Society to find the comprehensive breast cancer treatment center near you

5) Medical centers need to develop culturally appropriate messaging about breast cancer to black women across all social economic backgrounds

For women 50 to 74 years of age, physicians should offer screening. For women 40 to 49 years of age, risk stratification is an important component of assessing the potential benefits of breast cancer screening. The most commonly used risk-prediction model, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, is available on the National Cancer Institute Web site.