This Type Of Cancer Is The Deadliest For Black Women
About one out of every eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, which makes it the most common cancer in women second only to skin cancer. More than 230,000 American women will be diagnosed this year, and another 40,000 will die of breast cancer during 2015. Although death rates have been decreasing over the last 25 years, one group of women is still at a significantly higher risk than their sisters. According to a new study, young black women are far more like to be diagnosed from aggressive breast cancer than any other group of women.
The study, which focused on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, included nearly 400 black women and was published in the online journal “Cancer.” Researchers found that 12 percent of the black women who had been diagnosed had one of these mutations compared to about 5 percent of other breast cancer patients. Family history has long been considered a strong indicator of the presence of a genetic mutation, but this study revealed that almost half of the young women they evaluated had a mutation even though they had no close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer.
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A woman who knows she has a BRCA mutation can opt for more frequent breast cancer screenings preventive surgery to remove ovaries or breasts. Unfortunately, women without a family history of breast or ovarian cancer may not consider genetic testing to determine, leaving her vulnerable to this deadly disease. TNBC, or triple negative breast cancer, is a type of aggressive breast cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy and similar treatments, according to one of the study’s authors, Dr. Vincent Caggiano, but it is also most likely to be diagnosed in black women.
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Black women are generally less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and they are more likely to die of breast cancer. The risk of death is highest in women who are under 40 and have low incomes. Awareness campaigns can help reduce this risk, but women can also take steps to protect themselves. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to know your risk factors. Not all risk factors are controllable, but risk factors such as smoking, healthy eating and exercise can all be addressed. Monthly self-exams, regular checkups and mammograms on the recommended schedule can help spot the earliest signs of trouble.