Breast cancer is killing Black women at astronomical rates. This is not a sensationalized fact. Even though white women are diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates, Black women’s death rates from breast cancer are higher. In fact, Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, so the odds aren’t in our favor. On top of terrible odds, Black women have to deal with systemic racism’s chokehold on the economy. No, not all Black women live in poverty, but according to reports, poverty disproportionately effects Black people and poverty leads to no or not great insurance, which means delayed diagnosis and treatment and less follow up appointments—not only because of the lack of funds for copays.
Another factor that Black women face when it comes to their mortality rates with breast cancer is the lack of Black women represented in clinical trials.
In the last 3 years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved four novel drugs for breast cancer. However, none of those clinical trials had more than 3% Black participants.
Well ain’t that something, considering the immortal Henrietta Lacks’ historic cells changed medical science and they continue to contribute to cancer research today. Check out the video above to see why Black women need to be concerned with the death rates of breast cancer.