Black women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with late stage breast cancer as white women are, based on a new study.
The research was conducted by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England.
The study, published on Nov. 16, states that as much as 22 percent of the women with African ethnicity and 25 percent of those of Caribbean descent were diagnosed with stage 3 and 4 breast cancer, while among the British women who are white, the likelihood is of only 13 percent.
Cancer Diagnosis: Ethnic Gaps
According to one of the cancer researchers, information about the stage of the cancer at the moment of diagnosis is crucial, and while it has improved during the past years, it is only the first step in the process of lowering cancer rates.
While there is no clear scientific reason for the discrepancies among different groups of patients, possible reasons that could contribute to the ethnic gaps could vary from strictly race-related physiological features such as tumor biology to social reasons such as awareness when it comes to recognizing symptoms or the willingness to look for a medical opinion.
In the U.S., there are roughly 246,000 cases of invasive breast cancers diagnosed annually, a fact that sheds new light on how important awareness is when it comes to identifying the symptoms.
Black Women More Likely To Be Diagnosed Late
It is crucial to spread the information to all women, as the screening process for breast cancers may already not be 100 percent sure, which makes it all the more relevant that the groups which are most affected by this condition to be ore aware of the symptoms and to seek for special medical care on a regular basis.
When it comes to African-American women, the U.S. has also experienced an increase in the rates of undiagnosed cancer discovered only when it reaches stages 3 or 4. In the context of the overall women population the rates have dropped, but awareness still represents an issue within this group.
The study was the first to use ethnic-specific data, thus analyzing the chances of different women to be diagnosed with different stages of cancer. The research could be employed in awareness campaigns, to create a bigger incentive among specific ethnic groups when it comes to the screening procedures.
The conclusions of the research could be used in creating specific treatments and focusing on the problem groups when it comes to promoting strategies against the disease.