How breast cancer disproportionately affects Black women


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As Breast Cancer Awareness Month continues, 22News is using our platform to bring awareness to different aspects of this disease, like how breast cancer disproportionately impacts Black women.  

According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Black women have about a 30 percent breast cancer mortality rate. That’s the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. When it comes to women under the age of 45. Breast cancer incidence is also higher among black women than white women.

22News spoke with a specialist to further explain this troubling trend. 

“So, we do know that black patients are more likely to get an aggressive form of breast cancer that’s called triple-negative cancer,” said Dr. Ann Friedrich, a breast surgeon at Baystate Medical Center. “Those are cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy because they do not have the receptors that are positive for estrogen and progesterone.”

Hair and skin products that are often marketed to black women have also become a talking point, as some sources say they contain some of the most worrisome ingredients in cosmetics. But Dr. Friedrich said as of right now, data doesn’t support the claim that these products and cancer in black women are linked.

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