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Breast Cancer

Understanding Breast Cancer in Black Women: Part 1 - A Look at Income

Doctors have found that black women with breast cancer are more likely to:

Prognosis is an educated guess of how likely a person will survive their cancer. Doctors use a number of facts to make this guess:

The last three points are especially important for Black women. They explain why Black women often get worse prognoses. These are also reasons why Black women are less likely to survive breast cancer.

Our bodies are most healthy when we eat healthy, exercise, and have access to healthcare. Doing all of these things can also be pricey. Studies show that African Americans often make less money each year than White Americans. Less pay may lead to worse health.

More African Americans may find it more difficult to:

This means that greater numbers of African Americans may find it harder to eat healthy or get regular exercise and check-ups. Less access to mammograms and doctors’ visits also explains why Black women are often diagnosed with breast cancers at later stages. Later stage cancers are harder to treat and more likely to spread to other areas of the body. 

What does this mean?

Black women are more likely to have lower incomes, which may affect:

Still income does not have to have the final say. See A Look at Obesity and Exercise and What You Can Do to learn more.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Cancer health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: May 10, 2016

Cynthia  Owusu, MD Cynthia Owusu, MD