HealthDay News — According to a study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the racial gap for breast cancer mortality is closing, especially among younger women.

Breast cancer mortality rates are down overall for both white and black women, though there is still a disparity between the races. Between 2010 and 2014, mortality rates dropped faster among white women than among black women, 1.9% a year versus 1.5%, according to the researchers. However, among women under 50, the mortality rate was the same for both races, the researchers found.

“We hope that the signal we are seeing in younger women we will see in older women as time progresses,” lead author Lisa Richardson, MD, director of the division of cancer prevention and control at the CDC, told HealthDay.

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“Historically, black women have had higher mortality rates and they still do overall, but for women under 50 the declines are the same, and that’s something we have not seen previously.”

The biggest difference between the races in the drop in breast cancer mortality was among women ages 60 to 69. For these women, rates dropped 2% per year among white women and 1% among black women, Richardson said. The declines in mortality are largely due to more education about breast cancer, cancer screening and better treatment, she added.


Richardson LC, et al. “Patterns And Trends In Age-Specific Black-White Differences In Breast Cancer Incidence And Mortality – United States, 1999–2014”. MMWR. 2016 October 14. 65(40): 1093-1098.

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