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Disparity in US Breast Cancer Mortality

By LISA SCHULMEISTER, RN, MN, APRN-BC, FAAN
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 1970
Breast cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, is the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer.
To track trends in disease incidence, mortality, and survival the American Cancer Society (ACS) analyzes data every 2 years.

The study’s findings were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

In the US, a woman has a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,410 cases of in situ breast carcinoma are expected to be diagnosed among women in the US in 2017. Additionally, an estimated 40,610 women are expected to die this year from the disease.

The median age at diagnosis is 62 years. However, median age at diagnosis and death varies between black women and white women. Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a median age of 59 years compared with white women at 63 years. The median age at breast cancer death is 70 years for white women compared with 62 years for black women.

Most breast cancers (81%) occur in women aged 50 and older, and 89% of breast cancer deaths occur in this age group.

The ACS notes that improving access to care, especially screening and early detection, could reduce and hopefully eliminate the racial disparity in breast cancer mortality.
 
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