On Thursday, the American Cancer Society released a shocking new report with disturbing findings — for the first time in history, breast cancer incidence in Black women is equal to that of their White counterparts.
The statistics were a shocking blow as Black women’s mortality rate has consistently been higher than any other racial or ethnic group. But coupled with these rising rates in diagnosis, the likelihood that breast cancer will take an even greater toll on Black women has become a grim reality.
The researchers were unable to confirm definitively what is the major reason for the deficit between Black women’s health and that of White women, but they hinted that it was due access to healthcare and lifestyle factors.
Notably, the study finds a direct correlation between obesity and breast cancer diagnosis. The latest reports show that a whopping 58 percent of Black women are obese, a number that is consistently climbing.
From the New York Times:
Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancers, and much of the increase in breast cancers among black women has been due largely to more cases of this type of tumor. The obesity rate in black women was 58 percent during the 2009 to 2012 period, up from 39 percent from 1999 to 2002. Meanwhile, the obesity rate among white women has stabilized at around 33 percent.
So what can we do?
As we near the end of Breast Cancer awareness month and move on to a new one, it’s important to keep these statistics at the forefront of our minds. With these odds stacked against us, we must always remember that there are steps we can take to avoid cancer as much as we can.
The first step, of course, is to educate ourselves on the dangers we face.
Scroll through to see these valuable statistics you need to know:
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