SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton

News Feed Item

Study Reveals Widening Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality in 35 U.S. Cities

Unequal access to diagnosis and treatment results in deaths of 1,710 black women annually

NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A national study published today found a black: white disparity in breast cancer mortality in 39 of the most populous U.S. cities, with 35 of those cities experiencing a widening disparity over a 20-year period from 1990 to 2009. The 2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study is the largest study of its kind and the first to examine racial disparities in breast cancer mortality in 50 cities over two decades. The study, released by the Avon Foundation for Women and published in Cancer Epidemiology, found that 1,710 black women – approximately five women per day – die on average annually largely due to racial disparities in screening and breast cancer treatment.

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade logo

The U.S. cities with the largest disparities are (in order of disparity ratio): Memphis, Tenn.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Wichita, Kan.; Houston, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Denver, Colo.; Chicago, Ill.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Ind.

For national and city-specific data, please visit: http://www.avonfoundation.org/causes/breast-cancer-crusade/disparities-study/

2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study Findings
The 2014 study, conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute and the Avon Foundation for Women, expands on a 2012 study that examined the racial disparity in breast cancer mortality over a three-year period (2005-2007) in the 24 largest U.S. cities. In an effort to see how these disparities changed over a longer time period, this new study analyzed the number of breast cancer deaths reported across four five-year intervals between 1990 and 2009 in the 50 largest U.S. cities; data were available for 41 of the most populous 50 cities.

The study found that in most cities the white death rate declined between 1990 and 2009, while the black death rate did not change substantially, resulting in an increasing disparity. Although the death rates declined for both white and black women in the United States as a whole over this time period, the white death rate decreased twice as much, leading the researchers to identify four key factors that led to this racial disparity in breast cancer mortality: differential access to screening, quality of the screening process, access to treatment, and quality of treatment.

Steve Whitman, Ph.D., director of Sinai Urban Health Institute and the study's senior author, explained the disparity: "The geographical variation and growth in the black: white disparity over time shows that genetic factors comprise only a very small portion of the breast cancer mortality disparity. Rather, we believe a more logical explanation for the disparity is that certain technological advances related to screening and treatment that became available in the 1990s – such as digital mammography, advances in surgery and new drugs for treatment – have been less accessible to black women, who are disproportionately poor and un- or under-insured and less able to obtain access to these advances."

Key Findings

  • Few of the cities had a black: white disparity during the first time period (1990-1994), yet by the most recent time period (2005-2009), 39 of the 41 cities analyzed had a black: white disparity in breast cancer mortality, 23 of which were statistically significant
  • Between 1990 and 2009, 35 cities saw an increase in the disparity during the 20-year period
  • 16 cities trended towards a black: white disparity in breast cancer survival, but did not reach statistical significance (likely due to sample size)
  • Memphis has the highest disparity of the 41 largest cities analyzed, followed by Los Angeles
  • New York has the smallest disparity of the 50 largest cities analyzed, followed by Baltimore

"The 2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study has made it evident that a large racial disparity for breast cancer mortality exists in the United States. While the size of that disparity varies, it exists in virtually every one of the cities analyzed – and it appears to be growing," said Marc Hurlbert, Ph.D., executive director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. "Public and private institutions in these cities need to join together to address these disparities.  The burden cannot be left only to the 'safety net' hospitals and health centers."

After the 2012 disparities study that showed Memphis had the highest disparity of the largest 25 U.S. cities, the Avon Foundation funded work at Memphis' Methodist Hospital to identify the key barriers that could be driving local disparities.  The report from the study in Memphis will be released March 18 at the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Forum in Washington, D.C. and will inform future Avon funding in that city.

Five Recommendations to Reduce The Risk of Breast Cancer
Dr. Marc Hurlbert provides five tips about how women can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer:

  1. Seek access to early detection programs and screening
    - Low-income, uninsured and underinsured women can visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast to find low-cost breast cancer screenings across the United States.
  2. Be knowledgeable of family and personal history
    - If close relatives such as a mother, aunt or grandmother – or even male relatives – have had breast cancer, speak with a primary care doctor or Ob/Gyn about your specific risks and screening options.
    - Alert your doctor to personal risk factors such as childbearing history, your hormone replacement use, and radiation exposure to the chest if treated for lymphoma as a child
  3. Reduce alcohol use
    - Regular consumption of one or more drinks a day for women is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight
    - Staying healthy lowers the odds of getting breast cancer.  Obesity and being overweight are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause. To help maintain a healthy weight, eat more vegetables and fruits and limit red meat consumption.
  5. New moms should breastfeed immediately after birth
    - Experts recommend nursing a newborn within an hour of giving birth, if possible, and not supplementing with formula while in the hospital. Doctors recommend new mothers should breastfeed for at least six months. After a woman gives birth, she has a slightly increased risk for developing breast cancer over the next five to ten years (known as pregnancy-associated breast cancer).

Study Methodology
The researchers – led by Bijou Hunt, the study's main methodologist – measured racial disparity by calculating non-Hispanic black: non-Hispanic white breast cancer mortality rate ratios in each of the cities analyzed. A disparity ratio of greater than one indicates a higher black mortality rate; a ratio of less than one indicates a higher white death rate. In accordance with the our previous 2012 study's findings, results showed that some cities, such as Detroit and Las Vegas, have no disparity because mortality rates from breast cancer for both white and black women are unacceptably high.  In contrast, New York, for example, has low mortality rates for both black and white women and continues to have the smallest disparity among the most populous cities.  This study demonstrates the geographical variation in disparities and that the black: white breast cancer mortality disparity expanded in the majority of cities over the observed 20-year period (1990 - 2009).

About the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which launched in 1992 and is led by the U.S.-based Avon Foundation for Women, has placed Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have donated more than $815 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person's ability to pay. Avon awards funding to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based grassroots breast health programs to support breast cancer research and access to care. The Crusade has enabled more than 18 million women globally to receive free mammograms and breast cancer screenings, educated more than 145 million women about breast cancer, and funded promising research into the causes of breast cancer and ways to prevent the disease. The Avon Foundation raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon "Pink Ribbon" products, and through events such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series being held in 2014 in Houston (April 12-13); Washington (May 3-4); Boston (May 17-18); Chicago (May 31-June 1); San Francisco (July 12-13); Santa Barbara, Calif. (September 6-7); New York (October 18-19); and Charlotte, N.C. (October 25-26).  Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

About Sinai Health System
Sinai Health System, a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, is comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children's Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 695 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. www.sinai.org

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140304/DC75783LOGO

SOURCE Avon Foundation for Women

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...