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Breast cancer disparities among women

Black women under 40 have breast cancer at higher rates than white women
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Breast cancer affects men and women across the world, and some demographics are affected more than others.

According to Susan G. Komen, white women and Black women have the highest incidence of breast cancer in current cases. Although white women have higher incidence rates of breast cancer, Black women under the age of 40 have higher rates of breast cancer compared to white women.

At the age of 35, Brittainy Pope was diagnosed with Stage 1A breast cancer. She had no history of the disease in her family, but physical changes to her body told her something was wrong.

“I kept having bruising, I noticed a change in the size of the lump I was feeling and how hard it was. It wasn’t just like soft, it was a noticeable firm growth,” Pope said.

Doctors say there’s no one size fits all when it comes to mammograms because every patient is different.

“We know that African American women present about a decade earlier than if they’re Caucasian. So, if I have an African American woman sitting in front of me, I would likely recommend she considers starting mammography no later than 40 and depending on her family’s history I would probably consider starting her even sooner,” Director of Feist Weiller Cancer Center Sarah Thayer said.

Pope said she thinks some women in the Black community are hesitant to seek medical help, she recommends listening to your body and find a doctor who you trust.

“People in general sometimes will go too far before seeking professional help. So, I always recommend stay current with your annual exams. Also, self-exams area great help. I even with younger women, start [self-breast exams] in your 20′s so that way you’re away with the changes in your body,” Pope said.

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