DiversityNursing Blog

Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Oct 26, 2020 @ 01:34 PM

breastcancerdisparitiesAside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in the U.S. The chance for a female to be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime has increased from 1 in 11 women in 1975 to 1 in 8 women.

Increased emphasis on early detection and more effective treatments have decreased mortality rates in the white population. Although the mortality rates have declined in some ethnic populations, the overall cancer incidence among African American and Hispanic populations have continued to grow.

Research has shown that Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than any other ethnic group. Black women:

  • are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, which means the cancer has no receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone, as well as no receptors for the HER2 protein; this limits the medicines that can be used to treat the cancer
  • are more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease than other women
  • have the lowest survival rates in each stage of diagnosis

There are many factors that play a role in the disparities. Black women are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and are less likely to breastfeed after childbirth, which are all risk factors for breast cancer. They are also more likely than white women to have inadequate health insurance or access to health care facilities, which may affect access to screening, follow-up care, and completion of therapy.

In order to close the breast cancer mortality gap, prevention programs must increase and policies need to improve.

Increasing screening rates, providing timely access to diagnostic testing, and improving access to comprehensive, quality healthcare coverage and cancer treatment care are all imperative.

That also includes increasing outreach to Black women so they're aware about their breast cancer risks and can seek preventive care.

Molecular geneticist and Associate Professor of cell and developmental biology research in surgery, Dr. Melissa Davis points out that part of the problem in addressing these disparities and, in turn, finding more effective medications to improve outcomes, is that minorities haven’t traditionally been included in adequate numbers in research studies or clinical trials. “A lot of breast cancer investigations that have resulted in advances in treatment have overwhelmingly involved white women,” she says. “So the treatments work better in those populations than in others. We’re trying to change that.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) provides uninsured and underinsured women access to no-cost screening, diagnostic, navigation, and education/outreach services, as well as a pathway to cancer treatment care.

All women regardless of age, ethnicity, economic status, or other health conditions deserve the best breast cancer care and the best prognosis possible.

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Topics: breast cancer, black women, racial health disparities, racial disparities

Nurse researcher receives NIH award to study HIV prevention in young black women

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 02:01 PM

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) awarded $267,732 to the University of South Florida College of Nursing to study ways to reduce HIV/AIDS risk in college-aged black women, who are disproportionately affected by the disease. Rasheeta D. Chandler, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, assistant professor of nursing at USF, will lead the study.

"Tailoring an HIV Prevention for College-Aged Black Women" will adapt a previously-tested and effective sexual risk reduction approach, Health Improvement Project for Teens (HIP TEENS), to be culturally relevant and appropriate for college-aged African-American women. The research will test if this program, renamed Health Improvement Project for LADIES (HIP LADIES), helps reduce HIV/AIDS risk.

"This study is timely, and will be the template for future intervention studies conducted with black college women," Dr. Chandler said. "The award gives us the opportunity to improve the health of young black women."

AIDS.gov reports that of the more than 1 million people living with HIV in the United States, 46 percent are African-Americans. In addition, young black women are far more affected by HIV than young women of other races. The rate of new infections among young black females ages 13 to 29 is 11 times as high as that of young white females and four times that of young Hispanic females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that AIDS is the third leading cause of death among black women ages 25 to 34.

HIP TEENS is a small-group program for young women that uses interactive activities to provide information, motivate and teaches the skills girls need to reduce sexual risk behaviors. It was developed in 2004 by Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing. A randomized controlled trial led by Dr. Morrison-Beedy and recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reported that HIP TEENS significantly reduced sexual risk behavior and pregnancy rates in more than 700 adolescent girls.

"Not only did HIP TEENS reduce sexual risk behavior, we significantly increased sexual abstinence in these girls as well," said Dr. Morrison-Beedy. "HIP LADIES is a critical next step for reducing risk in college-aged young women."

Dr. Chandler's study will specifically target African-American women attending traditional universities and historically-black colleges and universities in the southeastern United States.

"This project is my chance to contribute to reducing the incidence of new HIV cases in young African-American women," Dr. Chandler said. "When you ask why I'm passionate about my research, this is my community, and these are people who've touched my life with their stories."

Provided by University of South Florida

Source: Phys Org

Topics: nursing, college, NINR, USF, HIV/AIDS, black women

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