In the African American community, there are several diseases that are most common. These diseases include: diabetes, asthma, strokes, high blood pressure, and cancer. According to cancer. org, 189,910 new cancer diagnosis are expected in the African American community in 2016. However, one of the most deadly forms of cancer among the black community is breast cancer. By the year 2012, the rate at which black women were diagnosed with breast cancer was equal to the rate at which white women were diagnosed, says ww5.komen. org.
This is important to know because according to cancer.org, black women have historically had lower rates of breast cancer diagnosis than white women. In the state of Louisiana, the diagnosis rate for breast cancer was highest in black women, than any other racial or ethnic group. According to ww5.komen.org, out of every 100,000 women between the years of 2008-2012, roughly 128 of them were white and diagnosed with breast cancer, while 124 of them were black and diagnosed with breast cancer.
The mortality rate for breast cancer is also significantly higher in the African American community. In 2012, the mortality rate was 42 percent higher in black women than in white women, says cancer.org. Some contributing factors for the death rate among black women due to breast cancer include: being diagnosed in the later stages, having more aggressive types of cancer cells, and having a higher rate of obesity.African American women are also more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Triple- negative breast cancer has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer, making it more difficult to treat.
However, there are measures that can be taken in order to help prevent breast cancer and detect it early.
These measures include:
• Women who participate in regular physical activity are between 10-15 percent less likely to be at risk for breast cancer.
• Alcohol consumption can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by up to 10 percent per drink, per day.
• Women who smoke are 21 percent more likely to form breast cancer, than non smokers.
• The American Cancer Society also recommends that by the age of 45, women should be having yearly mammograms.
• The Black Women’s Health Imperative says that doing monthly self-examinations is very important. Feeling for lumps or irregularities in the breast tissue can be the first step to early diagnosis and survival.
Susan G. Komen will be hosting a Race for the Cure, October 22, 2016, in City Park. To register for the event, go to neworleans.info-komen. org.
For more information on breast cancer, visit: http://ww5.komen.org/ BreastCancer/Statistics.html
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