Disparities in Breast Cancer Associated With African American Identity

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2021 Jun;41:e29-e46. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_319929.


Persistent disparities in the burden of breast cancer between African Americans and White Americans have been documented over many decades. Features characterizing breast cancer in the African American community include a 40% higher mortality rate, younger age distribution, greater advanced-stage distribution, increased risk of biologically aggressive disease such as the triple-negative phenotype, and increased incidence of male breast cancer. Public health experts, genetics researchers, clinical trialists, multidisciplinary oncology teams, and advocates must collaborate to comprehensively address the multifactorial etiology of and remedies for breast cancer disparities. Efforts to achieve breast health equity through improved access to affordable, high-quality care are especially imperative in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionately high economic toll on African Americans.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / trends*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People / psychology