Historically, Black women have had lower breast cancer incidence rates than White women. However, recent data suggests that incidence rates among Black and White women have become more similar, while breast cancer mortality rates are at least 41 percent higher among Black women.
Mammogram-detected breast cancers have a better prognosis than those found through a clinical breast exam or breast self-examination. This is because tumors detected by mammography are typically smaller and do not involve regional lymph nodes.
Through analysis of data from a sample of 1,322 Black women aged 40-75 years, diagnosed with breast cancer between 2002 and 2016, Rutgers’ investigators and collaborators from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center found that factors associated with patient self-detection might be independent prognostic indicators for breast cancer. Findings suggest that relative to screening mammography, the odds of breast cancer self-detection were independently associated with breast care and breast cancer screening services before diagnosis and with larger tumors.
This study was led by Rutgers School of Public Health alum, Ms. Holly Szukis, and included alums Drs. Cathleen Xing and Michelle Doose, and faculty Drs. Jennifer Tsui, Yong Lin, Elisa Bandera, and Adana Llanos.
“It is crucial that healthcare providers continue educating women on the importance of early breast cancer detection. It is equally important to develop and implement new and integrated strategies to promote early detection,” said Dr. Adana Llanos, senior author on the paper.
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