Why Is Black Breast Cancer Different?

• African American women have a 31% breast cancer mortality rate – the highest of any U.S. racial or ethnic group (Breast Cancer Prevention Partners)
• Black women are 42% more like to die of breast cancer (Breast Cancer Prevention Partners)
• Black women account for 12.5% of all new breast cancer cases and 15.5% of all breast cancer deaths (ACS)
• Black women under 35 get breast cancer at two times the rate of white women and die at three times the rate (ACS)
• 5-Year Survival is 81% for black women vs 91% for white women (ACS)
• 92% of black women agree breast health is important, 25% of women have recently discussed it, 17% have taken steps to understand their risk (Ad Council)
• The odds of advanced (stage III/IV) disease versus stage I disease among Black women are almost four times those of white women (NIH)
• Black breast cancer survivors have a 39% higher risk of breast cancer recurrence (Phase 3 TAILORx Trial)
•Black women have a 2.3 times higher odds of being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Women under age 40 have twice the odds of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than women aged 50-64 years. Among women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, those diagnosed at late stages were 69% more likely to have triple-negative cancer than other types (Lia Scott, Lee Mobley, Tzy-Mey Kuo, and Dora Il'yasova. CANCER)
• 8% of Black Breast Cancer is Metastatic, 60% higher than white breast cancer
• 33% of Black Breast Cancer is Regional (Stage 3), 27% higher than white breast cancer
• 56% of Black Breast Cancer is Localized, 15% lower than white breast cancer
• The 5-year survival rate for distant Black Breast Cancer is 28% lower than white breast cancer
• The 5-year survival rate for regional Black Breast Cancer is 9% lower than white breast cancer
• The 5-year survival rate for localized Black Breast Cancer is 4% lower than white breast cancer
• Black Men are 50% more likely to get Breast Cancer
• Men with Black Breast Cancer are 66% more likely to die
• Nearly 14% of Black women are uninsured, versus 8% of white women. 33% of Black women receive insurance through public programs (US Census Bureau)
• Women who are uninsured or on Medicaid are nearly twice as likely to have a stage 3 diagnosis than women who are insured (some who are insured are more likely to be diagnosed at stage 1 or 2) (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
• Not only is breast cancer more biologically aggressive in African American women, the disparity in breast cancer mortality also reflects social barriers that disproportionately affect Black women via poverty, cultural and social injustice barriers across all disease phases: prevention, detection/incidence, treatment, post treatment/quality of life, survival/recurrence/mortality.
• The physiology of Black women has not been a consideration in clinical trial research.
• Since 2016, the FDA has approved four novel drugs for breast cancer. However, none of those clinical trials had more than 3% black participants.
• 2014 study indicated that Black women experience emotional suppression and behavioral disengagement — “experienced increased levels of distress and poorer survival.” Black women lack the space to talk about how their concerns went unheard by a medical profession that skews white and male. Black women fear sharing their diagnosis within their families and communities because they are often the family breadwinner (Pew and Bidstrup et al. Acta Oncologica)