Think Pink

28 Oct

As many of you may know, October is Breast Cancer awareness month.  It would be negligent of me to overlook the 2nd highest cancerous danger of Black Women.

The overall lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 10.14% for African American women and 13.83% for white women. However, about 31 out of every 100,000 African American women die from the disease each year compared to just 27 out of every 100,000 white women.

The five-year breast cancer survival rate for African American women is 69%, whereas it is 84% for white women.

African American women may be less likely to undergo appropriate treatment because of a higher frequency of low income, single parent households. Consider the following:

  • Time – Breast cancer treatment is both time consuming and draining. Women, who are often used to taking care of others, need to instead be taken care of while they complete treatment.
  • Cost – Breast cancer treatment can be expensive, even if insurance covers the actual costs of treatment. There can also be additional travel costs, childcare costs, or costs for general home upkeep. Women may also lose wages when they miss work.
  • Undertreatment – African American women are less likely to receive appropriate treatment, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Whether they were young or old, in early or late stages of breast cancer, African American women were more likely than white women to go untreated by physicians and to be treated by non-surgical methods.

For low-income women running single parent households, the above considerations are real barriers to receiving full treatment and to surviving breast cancer (source).

 

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