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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


Breast Cancer in African American/Black Individuals: Trends in 2022

By: Victoria Kuhr, BA
Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Breast cancer appears to have surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among Black women as of 2019. Angela N. Giaquinto, MSPH, of the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, and colleagues reported that Black women have lower breast cancer survival rates at every stage of the diagnosis of any racial/ethnic group. These study findings were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

“African Americans continue to have a disproportionate burden of cancer mortality largely because of lack of health insurance and other socioeconomic barriers that limit access to cancer prevention and care,” said Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, American Cancer Society Chief Executive Officer, in a press release.

The study used the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) to gather population-based cancer incidence data in the United States. The study measured incidence, mortality, new cases, and deaths for Black people in the United States for 2022. These estimations were based on incidence and mortality data lag from 2 to 4 years behind the most current year.

The study predicts that in 2022, there will be approximately 224,080 new cancer cases and 73,680 cancer deaths among Black people in the United States. Black women have an 8% lower incidence rate than White women but a 12% higher mortality rate; further, mortality rates are 41% higher for breast cancer despite similar or lower incidence rates. The wide breast cancer disparity reflects both later-stage diagnosis (57% localized stage vs. 67% in White women) and lower 5-year survival overall (82% vs. 92%, respectively) for every stage of disease (eg, 20% vs. 30%, respectively, for distant stage).

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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