Higher Breast Cancer Deaths in Black Women Due to DNA Repair
A research team conducted a study investigating why there are higher death rates in Black women diagnosed with breast cancer than in White women who have the same disease. The scientists discovered that, in part, the reason might be the differences in the environmental impact on the genes involved in DNA repair. In addition to that, the study’s findings suggest that Black women should get better therapy, meaning that racial disparities also play a role.
In general, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in female cancer patients. However, the mortality rate in Black female patients with this type of cancer is higher than in White females with the same condition. If the cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, the chances of survival are up to 90%. Nevertheless, the mortality risk is higher in non-White women, specifically in Black women. Partly, the reason behind the higher chances of death is because African American women are diagnosed in the later stages of the illness.
Research has already shown that socioeconomic status is also a factor in the increased mortality rates. However, the study’s researchers believe that apart from the disparity, the mortality rates in Black female patients with breast cancer are higher due to a molecular difference as well. The study’s main researcher, Dr. Svasti Haricharan, believes that previous research focused primarily on the socioeconomic factors and the racial disparity in healthcare, and the role of the molecular differences was overlooked.
This study is of great importance. In accordance with the study’s results, the healthcare plans for Black female patients who have breast cancer need to be adjusted. If there are molecular differences based on race, patients of different ethnic or racial backgrounds should undergo different therapy, which calls for further research. Also, to further investigate this issue and establish a molecular database that includes Black females with breast cancer, there is to obtain financial support.
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