Research Archive

Incidence Rates for African American and Caucasian Women About Equal10/15 – A study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians has found that breast cancer incidence rates among black and white women are now almost equal, although African American women are still more likely to die of the disease. The study’s findings are based on the National Cancer Institute’s SEER data.

Incidence Among African American Women Rising 10/13 – A report published at WebMD has found that breast cancer incidence rates among African American women have been increasing, nearly matching that of white women. The gap is closing most among women aged 50 to 59 years old, and the reasons why aren’t clear, the researchers say.

Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment and Outcomes: Biological, Social, and Health System Determinants and Opportunities for Research 08/13 – This article summarizes existing literature exploring reasons for racial disparities in breast cancer mortality, with an emphasis on treatment disparities and opportunities for future research.

Breast Cancer News: Treatment Delays Differ between White and African American Women 07/2013 – According to Science Codex, data from Phase III of the Komen-funded Carolina Breast Cancer Study has found that among white women, household size and losing a job due to one’s diagnosis were reasons for delay in treatment, while among African American women, the type of treatment received influenced delay. The study also found that African American women between the ages of 20 and 49 were more than three times as likely as white women in this age range to experience treatment delay. These results suggest that specific populations of women, such as younger African American women, may benefit from interventions to reduce disparities in treatment delay. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Breast Cancer News: Differences in Survival between White and Black Women Attributable to Overall Health 07/2013 – This New York Times article discusses how differences in the overall health and tumor characteristics of white and black women with breast cancer may be largely to blame for the disparity in survival between the two groups. Researchers concluded that a focus on the overall health of black women was one way to reduce the gap in survival rates.

Black Women Prone to Gene-Driven Breast Cancer: Study 06/2013  Researchers say finding underscores need for DNA screening.

Breast Cancer News: Black Women More Likely to Delay Treatment 5/2013 – According to Medical Xpress, a new study, supported by Komen, has found that black women with breast cancer were found to be three times more likely than their white counterparts to delay treatment for more than 90 days – a time delay associated with increased deaths from the disease.

Race, Income Tied to Breast Cancer Treatment Delays, Reduced Survival  04/25/13  Study of young women found a big difference if treatment was started within 2 weeks versus 6 weeks.

Breast Cancer Death Rates Higher for Black Women: Study  4/08/13  Traditional beliefs about survival upended in preliminary research.

Breast Cancer Mortality Gap Still Baffling 3/2013 – This report in MedPage Today of a study presented at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research discusses the need to continue to explore disparities in mortality rates.

Research on Potential Strategies

Real Talk About Breast Cancer – This article discusses the impact of fatigue on outcomes for African American women with breast cancer and offers strategies that health care providers can use to communicate more effectively with patients.

Shared Decision-Making for Cancer Care Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: A Systematic Review – This study points to the value of expanding the shared decision-making model beyond the traditional patient-physician dyad to include other important stakeholders in the cancer treatment decision process, such as family or community leaders.

Health News: Effect of Personal Stories on Patient Health Decisions 06/2013 and Different Stories Play Different Roles in Patients’ Health Decision-making 09/2013 – In these two stories, Medical Xpress reports on research that demonstrates that stories that appear in health communications can be very persuasive and that certain types of stories can help patients confidently make informed decisions that fit their individual health needs.

Additional Resources:

FamiliesUSA: African American Health Disparities Compared to Non-Hispanic Whites – This infographic shows some of the more prevalent health disparities that afflict African Americans in the United States (compared to non-Hispanic whites).

CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013 – This latest report looks at disparities in deaths and illness, use of health care, behavioral risk factors for disease, environmental hazards, and social determinants of health. The report contains 10 new topics including access to healthier foods, activity limitations due to chronic diseases, asthma attacks, fatal and nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses, health-related quality of life, periodontitis in adults, residential proximity to major highways, tuberculosis, and unemployment. View the full report at

African American Women and Breast Cancer Research Presentation 2012 2 01 (1MB) – PDF of Powerpoint slides by Dr. Watanabe-Galloway providing national and Nebraska statistics and information about breast cancer incidence, staging and mortality among African American women.

Every Women Matters Feb. 1Presentation_final(1MB) – PDF of Powerpoint slides sharing data about the screening program’s success reaching African American women in Nebraska.

Mtg 2.1Navigator ppt(1MB)- PDF of Powerpoint slides by Dr. Nsiah-Kumi and Jackie Hill describing the Community Breast Health Navigator and Support Program which helps women in Douglas and Sarpy counties who have an abnormal report on a mammogram navigate through the healthcare system.

Two new informative publications: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) MMWR Report: Patterns and Trends in Age-Specific Black-White Differences in Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortalityand The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) publication on the cost of Cancer Survivorship: The Impact of Chronic Conditions on the Economic Burden of Cancer Survivorship.

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