Lisa Judd | July 24 2013 12:11 EDT
ForexTV.com (New York) by Lisa Judd
Studies continue to confirm that more black women will die from breast cancer than white women. There are several reasons why there is a disparity but the main reason may be education. There also may be genetic differences but the primary cause is a delay in getting medical care. The size and stage of the tumor and chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart conditions are leading causes for poor prognosis.
The latest study conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Silber MD, PHD, reports that black women are generally in worse shape than white women at the time of diagnosis. “They come in sicker, with more advanced disease and more chronic conditions,” says Dr. Jeffrey Silber of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who led the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The disparity looks to be unchanged over the past few decades.”
Early detection is the key in fighting cancer, breast or any other form. Early education and ability to motivate black women to seek treatment should be our primary concern.
Karen Jackson the founder and CEO of Sisters Network Inc believe that black women need more education. Ms Jackson founded the association twenty years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Sisters Network mission statement:
[Sisters Network® Inc. is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community]
She states that black women may fear a diagnosis and feel they are doomed to die. They tend to wait before going to the doctor. She waited even though she felt a lump in her breast. Even after she had a mammogram that detected nothing she did not push the issue. It was years until she finally insisted on getting an ultrasound done which did confirm she had a mass.
The new study compared 7375 black women age 65 and older to the same number of white women age 65 and older. There was three parts to the study.
Part one, the first group lived in similar places, were the same age and were diagnosed the same year. White women on average lived three years longer than the black women.
The second part of the study were the same age, diagnosed the same year and had similar tumors at the same stage, with similar past medical histories. The finding showed that white women lived only a year longer on average, down from the three years.
The third part conducted showed white patients of the same age, same socioeconomic background, with similar type of cancer, treatment, drug regime, and surgical procedures they difference in life expectancy dropped to only 3 months.
What this shows is the treatment is not the cause, but that black women are showing up sicker. They tend to wait before going to seek medical care. They need more preventative care and education. Medical communities need to reach out and provide more resources. Educated the public about what tests need to be done and how often such as mammograms, ultrasounds, self breast exams, and other screening tests such as colonoscopies, blood work. A better doctor –patient relationship will also enhance better support education and early intervention. A good relationship between you and your doctor is vital to better health.