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African American Breast Cancer Statistics 2020

Breast Cancer Statistics In Young Adults

Breast cancer statistics are more alarming for women of color | KVUE

Although breast cancer in young adults is rare, more than 250,000 living in the United States today were diagnosed under age 40. In young adults, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed in its later stages. It also tends to be more aggressive. Young adults have a higher mortality rate. As well as a higher risk of metastatic recurrence .

Black Women Still Have A 4% Lower Incidence Rate Of Breast Cancer Than White Women But A 40% Higher Breast Cancer Death Rate

In this graphic, the breast cancer incidence rate is highest in White women and lowest in Hispanic women. The breast cancer death-rate is highest in Black women, followed by American Indian/Alaska Native women, and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander women. It’s notable that Black and AIAN women both have a higher death rate than White women even though they both have a lower incidence rate for breast cancer than White women.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer in women in the US overall, but its the leading cause of cancer death in Black and Hispanic women.

During 2016 through 2020, the breast cancer incidence rate was higher in Black women compared to White women in only 4 states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia. In contrast, the breast cancer death rate was higher for Black women than White women in every state except Washington.

Geographical disparities in breast cancer incidence and mortality are due to the differences in the prevalence of risk factors and access to screening and treatment. All of these are influenced by a womans socioeconomic status and her distance to medical services, as well as government policies in the state where she lives, such as whether it expanded Medicaid.

Rebecca Siegel, MPH

The racial disparity in deaths from breast cancer has remained at 40% or higher for a decade.

Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, ACS senior vice president of Surveillance & Health Equity Science

Interactive Statistics With Seer*explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can…

  • Create custom graphs and tables

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

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Age And Sex Risk Factors In Breast Cancer Disparities

Age and sex are considered important risk factors in breast cancer incidence rates and mortality. Breast cancer incidence rates are higher among Blacks than Whites for women under age 45. It is rarely diagnosed in women younger than 25 years of age. The median age a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer is 61 years. The median age of diagnosis for black women is 58 years and 62 years for White women. The median age at breast cancer death is 68 years for all races 62 years for Black women and 69 years for White women . Approximately 252,710 women and 2470 men are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Men have a 1 in 1000 risk of developing breast cancer over his lifetime whereas approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Siegel and colleagues estimated that about 41,070 people will die from breast cancer in 2017 .

Take Action To Change Young Adult Breast Cancer Statistics

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Epidemiology

When all young adults affected by breast cancer work together, we can raise awareness, improve our representation in research and make each other stronger. We are dedicated to these goals, working to turn our unique challenges into opportunities for shared success. Join the movement! Become an advocate for young women with breast cancer.

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Factors Contributing To Racial Cancer Disparities

Research suggests that racial cancer disparities are driven by a combination of inequities in health coverage and access to care, social and economic factors, and care and treatment that are rooted in racism and discrimination. Moreover, some research suggests that hereditary risk and genetic determinants for specific subtypes of cancer, in addition to environmental influences on genetic expression, may also explain a portion of disparities.

Socioeconomic Disparities In Breast Cancer

Breast cancer incidence, survival, mortality rates as well as its risk factors vary not only between race and ethnic groups but also with socioeconomic status . Studies have suggested that racial disparities in breast cancer are reduced compared to the disparity observed when social and economic factors are examined alone. When socioeconomic status is considered, certain studies suggest that racial disparities in breast carcinoma are smaller than when social and economic factors are examined alone, but these disparities still persist . Socioeconomic determinants affecting disparity in breast cancer mortality involve poverty, culture, and social injustice .

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Breast Cancer Prevention Treatment And Health Disparity

A 2006 report from the NCI-supported research showed that aggressive forms of breast cancers are common in younger African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino women living in low SES areas. These aggressive forms of breast cancer such as triple negative breast cancer are less responsive to standard cancer treatments and are associated with poorer survival . Triple-negative breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease in which tumors are defined by lack of expression of the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. It account for about 10â20% of invasive breast cancers and this subtype carries a poorer prognosis than the luminal tumors . There are no targeted therapies currently available for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

Progress In Reducing The Prostate Cancer Death Rate In Black Men Is Slowing

Philadelphia Ranks High Among Breast Cancer Mortality Rates Among African American Women

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Black men, accounting for 37% of all new cancers. Although prostate cancer is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in White men, incidence rates are 73% higher in Black men.

The prostate cancer death rate in Black men has dropped by more than 50% since its peak of 82 deaths per 100,000 in 1993. However, the

From 2010 through 2014, the death rate dropped by 5% each year, but the pace slowed to a decline of 1.3% a year from 2015 through 2019. That slowdown may reflect the increase in advanced-stage diagnoses for prostate cancer. Each year since 2012, the incidence of advanced cases has increased by 5% a year in Black men.

This increase in late-stage diagnoses likely reflects the reduction in screening following the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation in 2012 against routine prostate-specific antigen testing. Testing blood for PSA levels can often help find cancer at an early stage, when it is only in the prostate . However, concerns about overdiagnosis and overtreatment as a result of widespread PSA testing led to the change in the USPSTF guideline.

In 2018, the USPSTF revised the guideline again to recommend informed decision making among men ages 55 to 69. However, studies have found that Black men are less likely than White men to be informed about screening.

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Up To About 30% Of Breast Cancers May Be Preventable With Changes In Lifestyle

About 30% of breast cancer diagnoses are linked to risk factors that women may be able to changesuch as excess body weight, physical inactivity, and alcohol intake.

Women can help lower their risk for developing breast cancer by being active, maintaining a healthy body weight, and limiting alcohol. They can also help lower their risk of death from breast cancer by talking with their doctor about how often to get a mammogram, sticking with that schedule, and promptly following up on any abnormal results. Following American Cancer Society guidelines for breast cancer screening can help women find breast cancer earlier, when treatments are more likely to be effective.

The advocate affiliate of the ACS, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network continues to make efforts to close this persistent gap in screening.

Lawmakers can and must do more to address the unequal burden of breast cancer among Black women, including increasing funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program , a program jointly funded by federal and state governments that helps improve access to lifesaving screenings for these cancers.

Why Do African Americans Have Increased Breast Cancer Mortality

Socioeconomic factors and racism can lead to poorer health outcomes for Black Americans. Genetics may also be a factor behind increased mortality rates.

Image by keiko takamatsu / paitoonpati

Statistics are one way to give concrete form to abstract concepts like health disparities. Johns Hopkins University & Medicines Coronavirus Resource Center database provides a stark example: Black Americans make up 13% of the people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in states that report data broken down by race and ethnicity, but 34% of deaths from COVID-19 in those states are among Black Americans.

These COVID-19 numbers mirror long-standing disparities in cancer outcomes: As of 2016, the overall death rate from cancer was 14% higher in African Americans than in whites.

It has been clear for many years now that breast cancer disparities related to racial/ethnic identity have other factors that contribute aside from socioeconomic status, Newman said.

Whats So Different About Breast Cancer in African Americans?

Up to 40% of African American women are under age 50 when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to up to 20% of white Americans, Newman said. African Americans are 41% more likely than whites to die from the disease. In addition, African American women have a twofold higher rate of triple-negative breast cancer, which is a more aggressive type of breast cancer.

Should Mammography Recommendations Be Different?

What Role Does Ancestry Play?

Cancer Today.

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Why Is This Update Important

Unfortunately, some racial and ethnic groups in the US shoulder more of the cancer burden than others. This is referred to as cancer health disparities

In its 2020 report, Cancer Disparities Progress Report, the AACR states the following:

Cancer health disparities are adverse differences between certain population groups in cancer measures such as number of new cases, number of deaths, cancer-related health complications, survivorship and quality of life after cancer treatment, screening rates and stage

This review focuses on breast cancer health disparities in Black women in the United States. The report discussed:

  • The difference in the rate of breast cancer among Black women compared to white women.
  • The difference in the rate of death due to breast cancer among Black women compared to white women.

Cancer Facts & Figures For African American/black People

Minority Health Month Brings Focus to Groups that Often Have Health ...

About 224,080 new cancer cases and 73,680 cancer deaths are expected to occur among Black people in 2022. Black people have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group in the United States for most cancers. For example, Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women, despite lower incidence of the disease.

Facts such as these are presented in the updated edition of the American Cancer Societys Cancer Facts and Figures for African American/Black People 2022-2024. This publication also provides the most recent data on cancer risk factors and screening in the Black population.

Suggested citation: American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People 2022-2024.

This publication is accompanied by “Cancer Statistics for African American/Black People, 2022,” a scientific article published in the American Cancer Societys CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

See Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People for Any Year

View or download in PDF format

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Cancer Mortality By Race And Ethnicity

Overall cancer mortality rates decreased for all racial and ethnic groups, with the largest decrease among Black people, but Black people continued to have the highest cancer mortality rate in 2018 . Between 2013 and 2018, the difference between the overall cancer mortality rate for Black and White people narrowed, but Black people remained at higher risk for cancer death. Among the leading four types of cancer death, mortality rates for female breast cancer decreased for White, Black, and Hispanic people and increased for Asian and Pacific Islander and AIAN people. Colon and rectum and lung and bronchus cancer mortality rates decreased across all racial and ethnic groups, while prostate cancer mortality rates decreased for Black and AIAN people but remained fairly stable for White and Asian and Pacific Islander people. Decreases over the period narrowed disparities in mortality for Black people for colon and rectum, lung and bronchus, and prostate cancer, although they remained at higher risk for dying from colon and rectum and prostate cancer compared to White people. The decreases largely eliminated the difference in lung and bronchus mortality rates between Black and White people, while the difference in breast cancer mortality rates remained largely stable.

What Contributes To Disparity In Rate Of Breast Cancer And Related Deaths

The following chart summarizes factors that contribute to cancer health disparities. It is important to note that most of these factors are the result of structural and systemic racism in our health care system. . Philadelphia: American Association for Cancer Research ©2020 . Available from

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In the late 70s, outcomes were equal. The reason for that is at that time, diagnosis was lousy, and treatment was very crude, and so nobody had excellent care and so deaths were equal in both groups, he said. Then, as you look at the graphs between 1976 and 1985, they split off where the mortality for White patients markedly improved, and for Black patients, they improved but not so much, and then around the mid-80s, the gap has remained constant until today.

To eliminate racial disparities among cancer patients, Cykert said, ensuring that Black women have the same access to hospitals, breast cancer screenings and adequate treatments as White women is key.

You really need two things: You need a system change that acknowledges that there are disparities and care and outcomes, Cykert said.

You also need community involvement so that individual health systems understand what the barriers are for their community. Plus, there also needs to be an accountability, he said, adding that health care systems should use their digital data to look at treatment progress for all their patients in real time, especially disadvantaged groups, and build systems to keep engaging folks to complete all care.

Racial And Ethnic Variations In Breast Cancer Incidence And Mortality

More people going for breast cancer screenings: BCF

Breast cancer does not strike all racial and ethnic groups equally. It varies by race and there is a troubling reality about survival rates for women with breast cancer. White women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but Black women are more likely to die from the disease . Table 3.1 below shows that in 2014, White women had the highest rate of getting breast cancer, followed by Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native women with the lower incidence rate . It also shows that in 2014, Black women were more likely to die of breast cancer than any other group, followed by White, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women with the lower death rate .

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Cancer Incidence By Race And Ethnicity

Overall cancer incidence rates decreased for all racial and ethnic groups between 2013 and 2018, with the largest decreases among AIAN and Black people . This decrease eliminated a disparity in overall cancer incidence for Black people, who had the highest rate of new cancers in 2013 but had a similar cancer incidence rate as White people in 2018. Among the four leading types of cancer, rates of new lung and bronchus and colon and rectum cancer decreased across all racial and ethnic groups from 2013 to 2018. Rates of new prostate cancer cases decreased for Black, Hispanic, and AIAN people, while they remained fairly stable for White and Asian and Pacific Islander people over the period. The decreases narrowed disparities in colon and rectum and prostate cancer incidence rates for Black people over the period. New female breast cancer rates also decreased for AIAN and Black people, while there were small increases in the breast cancer incidence rate for other groups.

Patterns of cancer incidence by race and ethnicity vary across cancer types. Female breast, prostate, lung and bronchus, and colon and rectum cancers had the highest rates of new cancers in 2018. Although White or Black people had the highest incident rates across these cancer types, patterns of incidence by race and ethnicity varied by type :

Survival And Stage Distribution

The overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancers diagnosed in 2008-2014 was 81% for black women compared to 91% for white women. This difference can be attributed to both more advanced stage at detection and poorer stage-specific survival among black women. Only about half of breast cancers in black women are diagnosed at a local stage, compared to 64% in white women.

More advanced stage at diagnosis among black women has been largely attributed to issues related to access to high-quality health care, including fewer screening mammograms, lack of timely follow-up of abnormal results, and receipt of health care at lower resourced or non accredited facilities. Lower stage-specific survival has been explained in part by unequal access to and receipt of prompt, high-quality treatment among black women compared to white women. The greater burden of triple negative breast cancers in black women also contributes to disparate outcomes. However, one study found the greatest survival disparities were for patients with hormone receptor-positive tumors. Racial disparities are typically larger when effective treatment is available, highlighting the influence of access to care.

Breast Cancer is the Most Imperative Health Issue Facing African American Women!

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer younger, at later stages and with more aggressive forms of the disease, limiting treatment options.


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