Regular mammography screening can help narrow the breast cancer gap between black and white women.
Earlier studies have shown that black women in Chicago are more than twice as likely to die of breast cancer compared to white women. Black women with breast cancer reach the disease’s late stages more often than white women, and their tumors are more likely to be larger and more biologically aggressive.
But according to the study, when women of both races received regular breast cancer screening — a mammogram within two years of breast cancer diagnosis — there was no difference in the rate of how many of them presented in the disease’s later stages.
This study was conducted over six years in Chicago at Rush University Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It compared women who were regularly screened by mammograms with women who were only irregularly screened. This study reinforces the fact that regular screening by mammography can improve outcomes for all women.
An important finding – breast cancer diagnoses after regular screening were found (more likely) to be hormone receptive (tumors that contain receptors for estrogen and progesterone). Hormone receptive breast cancers more often lead to better survival rates because of the various treatment options that have a proven record, such as Tamoxifen and Aromatase inhibitors. This leads to suggesting that early and regular screening can inhibit development of some negative biological characteristics of breast tumors.
Sources: Rush Medical Newsletter