Black women have a 19% higher mortality rate for hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer types than non-Hispanic white women, despite having a 22% lower incidence rate, according to research published on 18 June in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers led by Dr. Ahmedin Jemal from the American Cancer Society also found that Black women have a 123% higher mortality rate for HR-negative breast cancer compared with white women, despite having a 65% higher incidence rate.
The team wrote that their findings dismiss the idea that Black women have higher breast cancer death rates largely because they are diagnosed with aggressive types of breast cancer.
"Cancer disparities in the Black community result from a myriad of causes rooted in institutional inequities," said Jemal in a statement from the American Cancer Society. "We must address structural racism as a public health issue to close the gaps, advance health equity, and ensure Black women get the screening and treatment they need and deserve."