Breast Cancer, Race, and Risk

by | Nov 3, 2022

Race is a significant factor that can contribute to a woman’s breast cancer risk– though it’s often not the first thing that jumps to mind for patients or healthcare professionals.  However, data shows that simply understanding the heightened risk that race can confer is powerful information that helps guide decisions about screening.[1]

Black Women and Risk

While the incidence of breast cancer is slightly lower in Black women than White women, mortality from breast cancer is 40% higher.  Black women also have a twofold higher rate of triple-negative breast cancer and a younger peak incidence of breast cancer.

The factors contributing to these statistics are both biological and socioeconomic, including disparities in access to screening, treatment, and insurance coverage. Black women are, as a result, less likely to receive timely care, and more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage: both of which contribute to the increased mortality rate for Black women.

How You Can Help

Clinicians can empower their patients by facilitating breast cancer risk assessments in 25 – 30-year-old patients – when risk can guide screening protocols. Once a patient understands and weighs her personal level of risk, she can make informed decisions about her own health.

For women who are high-risk, understanding how early and how often to screen is part of the equation for improved care; making that screening accessible and convenient can help to improve compliance.

Early diagnosis is critical for connecting women with life-saving treatment. Assessing your practice for high-risk patients is a small step that can go a long way. How many of your patients fall into high-risk categories? Who should be screened on a routine basis, and how many of these patients are having screening mammography? If convenience of care is standing in the way of scheduling an appointment or visiting the office, how can your practice facilitate easier access?

Convenience Drives Compliance. Compliance Saves Lives

In-office 3D mammography services build your practice by offering more comprehensive women’s healthcare in one place. When breast cancer screenings can take place at the same time and place as their usual office visits, patients see added value and convenience when scheduling their appointments. Onsite Women’s Health specializes in offering personalized risk assessments, comprehensive mammography services, and breast ultrasounds in-house for referring practices.

Equipment, space reconfiguration, and trained radiologists are needed in order to offer comprehensive breast health services. Onsite specializes in equipping your practice with all these components so that you can focus your attention where it is needed most: helping patients to take an active and engaged approach in caring for their health.

Convenient care helps all women be vigilant when it comes to regular breast cancer screening.  Some risk factors are more well-known than others– and many women may not know that race can play into an elevated risk of a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis. Equipping all patients with the information they need to make informed decisions can help to reduce mortality rates. By partnering with Onsite Women’s Health, you can be a part of the solution.

[1] 2 Schwartz C, Chukwudozie IB, Tejeda S, et al. Association of Population Screening for Breast Cancer Risk With Use of Mammography Among Women in Medically Underserved Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups. JAMA Network Open. 2021;4(9):e2123751. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.23751