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There is overwhelming evidence suggesting white women are more likely than blacks to get breast cancer in the first place, but that fact hasn’t alleviated the risk of death facing black women. More than 1,700 black women die of breast cancer every year in the United States because of racial disparities in cancer risks and access to care, suggests a new study.
Researchers who calculated cancer death rates in 24 of the largest U.S. cities found that in 13 of them, black women were significantly more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Of the cities where black women were more likely to die of breast cancer, that disparity ranged from a 24 percent higher risk of death in New York to more than twice the risk of death in Memphis between 2005 and 2007.
Other cities with racial disparities in deaths during those years included Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Dallas, Jacksonville, Columbus, Milwaukee, Boston and Denver.
There was no difference in black and white women’s chances of dying from breast cancer in Phoenix, San Antonio, San Jose, Detroit, San Francisco, Austin, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso and Seattle.
Across the country, researchers calculated that black women were 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, adding up to 1,722 extra deaths each year due to racial disparities.
The researchers were missing data on breast cancer deaths in Indianapolis, the last of the 25 largest U.S. cities.
Read more: Reuters