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New CDC Vital Signs: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. Although breast cancer death rates declined in the past two decades with half of the decrease due to better screening and high-quality treatment, not all women have benefited from these improvements and breast cancer disparities continue, according to a recent Vital Signs study.

Proven strategies can reduce the disparities. Health care providers, nurses, and others who treat patients can ensure that all women in their care get the tests and treatments they need. Women must also take direct care of their health by talking with their doctors to learn more about breast cancer and when to get a mammogram.

Selected Quotes

Although we are making progress reducing deaths from breast cancer, we have much work to do to reduce preventable deaths, particularly among African-American women. Only when every woman receives adequate screening, timely follow-up, and high-quality treatment, will the full benefit of breast cancer screening be achieved.
-CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

Related Links
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2012) : "Vital Signs: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity — United States, 2005-2009 | PDF [3.63MB]
  • Press Release: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity PDF [1.46 MB]
  • Vital Signs: Home | Vital Signs Fact Sheet PDF [2.54 MB] | November 2012 Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity | Issues
  • Breast Cancer Telebriefing transcript- November 14, 2012 PDF [1.94 MB]

CDC Resources

  • Vital Signs (2010) Cancer Screening [5.61 MB]
  • Breast Cancer
  • Health Disparities in Cancer
  • Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
  • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Additional Resources

  • Free or Low-Cost Mammogram
  • Find a mammography center in your state
  • Find a Federally Qualified Health Center in Your Neighborhood
  • Find Health Advice for You or a Loved One

CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokesperson
Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Biography

Spokesperson
Ileana Arias, PhD

Ileana Arias, PhD

Biography

Spokesperson
Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH

Graphics/Charts

Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity

DGraph displaying breast cancer dstatistics for white and black females

Source: United States Cancer Statistics: Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report

Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women
Multimedia

Podcast

  • Vital Signs (2012) breast cancer podcast
  • Breast cancer podcast (2011)
  • Get your mammogram podcast (2010)

Video

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, 20th Anniversary
Screen shot of National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, 20th Anniversary

Author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 1/21/2011
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, 20th Anniversary

Black Corals Cancer Education
Screen Shot of Black Corals Cancer Education

Author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 9/12/2012
Black Corals Cancer Education

E-Tools

  • Vital Signs (2012) breast cancer button
  • Mammogram e-Card
 
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