Racial Disparities Receding for Women with Breast Cancer


According to a recent finding from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, younger black and white women benefit equally from timely breast cancer treatment. However, the death rates of women over 50 are still very disproportionately black. The article notes “that 10% to 20% of all diagnosed breast cancers, occur more often in black women than white women. ” The reason is that Black women will get diagnosed more in the later stages of the cancer, as opposed to white women. This relates to class because we have discussed how race plays a part into treatment. It is far to speculate based on the the content of our class that perhaps certain predominately black neighborhoods have less treatment and prevention facilities and/or precautions to offer black women.

With this being said the article does show that the incidence rates are converging. Since 1975 white women have always beat black women in breast cancer diagnosis per year, but as of recently that statistic has shown that it is changing. Now about about 122 Black women for every 100,000 are diagnosed compared to white women and there being 124 diagnosis for every 100,000. This has everything to do with the our class discussions and content because it begs the question: is this a good statistic or a bad one?

On the one hand this could suggest a progress. Perhaps more black women are getting tested and are receiving more treatment. Perhaps black neighborhoods and facilities in those neighborhoods/ communities are improving to a similar caliber as those offered in Predominately White areas. The article also suggests that the black women themselves are finally “heeding to the call for screening tests”, and perhaps self awareness is a factor in this.

However on the flip side this could be a problematic and if anything startling statistic. It could be very much the system at play. Perhaps treatment options and resource distribution hasn’t changed at all for black women, but instead the system working against black people. Maybe pollution and environmental factors have increasingly worsened nationwide for black communities and that is what is causing the increase in rates. In understanding medical apartheid and the discussions surrounding the book in class, the article becomes more nuanced.

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