The American Cancer Society has reported that racial and ethnic minorities still tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites even when insurance status, income, age and severity of conditions are comparable and are still more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage when treatment is less successful.
A study from the Boston School of Medicine found black women were three times more likely to develop triple negative cancer, a particularly virulent strain of breast cancer that is resistant to traditional treatment, regardless of the age or size of the woman.
Over the past year, BlackAmericaWeb.com and “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” have been actively involved in the effort to enroll more black women in the Sister Study, the only long-term study in the United States and Puerto Rico of women ages 35 to 74 who’ve never had breast cancer but whose sisters have had the disease.
Researchers believe the Sister Study will better determine why women get breast cancer, especially reasons that concern environment and genes.
Last December, black congressional leaders met in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the second annual National Conference on Health Disparities, sponsored by The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to address a range of critical health care issues that impact African-Americans. That included evidence that the length of time between an abnormal screening mammogram and the follow-up diagnostic test to determine whether a woman has breast cancer is more than twice as long in Asian-American, black, and Hispanic women as in white women.
Now comes word a government task force has found annual breast cancer screenings for women under 50 are not necessary and that they don’t necessarily find incidences of cancer early enough to affect mortality rates from the disease. Also, the task force said breast self-exams have no benefit, and women shouldn’t be taught to do them.