Racial Differences in Diagnosis and Treatment

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Due to fewer resources, black women experience longer follow-up times after problematic mammograms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethnic groups and are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. 

While black women get mammograms as often as white women, black women tend to seek follow-up care later than white women. Twenty percent of black women experience follow-up times of over 60 days. This wait may allow the cancer to spread past the breast and become more difficult to treat.

The CDC also notes that 83 percent of white women start treatment within 30 days of getting a diagnosis. Only 69 percent of black women start within 30 days, and fewer black women receive the hormone treatments, radiation and surgery needed to treat the cancer due to having fewer social and economic resources.

The Affordable Care Act will expand access to health insurance coverage for 30 million Americans who were previously insured and will provide access to more screening tests and electronic health records, which should help to decrease follow-up time.

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