Breast Cancer More Likely to Kill Black Women Than White, Study Finds

African-American women are dying from breast cancer at higher rates than whites, and the gap in mortality rates for the two groups is growing, a report funded by the Avon Foundation for Women finds.

Conducted between 2005 and 2014 by the Sinai Urban Health Institute, in collaboration with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the study examined disparities in breast cancer mortality rates in the fifty largest U.S. cities and found that the rate for African-American women between 2010 and 2014 was 30.7 deaths per 100,000 women, while the rate for whites was 21.4 deaths per 100,000 women. The study also found that, nationally, African-American women were 43 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.

According to the study, which provided breast cancer mortality rates for white and black women for each of the cities examined and ranked the cities based on the size of the disparity, Atlanta saw the largest increase in the disparity in rates for whites and blacks, while Memphis, Philadelphia, and Boston all registered a statistically significant decrease.

"Avon Foundation recognized early on that there was a significant need to understand these racial disparities in order to focus efforts and resources where they are most needed," said Avon Foundation president Cheryl Heinonen. "As the company for women, Avon puts women at the center of everything we do. This is part of our DNA, our history, and our legacy to empower women and improve the quality of life of women. And this requires collaboration at all levels."