The study is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Cancer.
Another study in the same issue found that initiatives designed to increase awareness and use of breast cancer screening may improve breast cancer survival rates for black American women, who have a higher risk of death from the disease than white women.
Researchers in Atlanta looked at the impact on black women of a program that included public education about the importance of mammography screening, breast self-exams, and seeing a trained health care provider. The program also included breast cancer survivors who supported newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients by encouraging them to follow-up with recommended medical care and helping them access financial, transportation and support services.
Between 2001 and 2004, the program conducted 1,148 community interventions for more than 10,000 participants. During that time, a total of 487 women were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer (89 percent black, 5 percent white, 2 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent other race/ethnicity) at the AVON Comprehensive Breast Center at the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Over the study period, the proportion of Stage 0 (early) non-invasive breast cancers increased from 12.4 percent to 25.8 percent, and the proportion of Stage IV (late) invasive breast cancers decreased from 16.8 percent to 9.4 percent.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about eliminating disparities in cancer screening and management.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: Cancer, news release, June 23, 2008
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