High-Risk Statistics for Black/African American Women | Torrance Memorial

Published on May 30, 2022

High-Risk Statistics for Black/African American Women

African American woman smiling outdoors

Breast cancer is a disease that affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, yet it does not affect these populations equally.

Although the breast cancer death rate in the U.S. has decreased by 43 percent for white women since 1980, it has dropped by only 23 percent for Black/African American women.

  • The incidence of breast cancer among Black/African American women has been rising steadily in the U.S. and, in 2012, reached the same level as in white women.
  • Black/African American women are 42 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than are non-Hispanic white women.
  • The risk of being diagnosed with aggressive “triple-negative” breast cancer is twice as high for Black/African American women as for non-Hispanic white women.
  • Black/African American women are less likely than non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with stage I breast cancer but twice as likely to die of these early breast cancers.
  • Black/African American women have a higher risk of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations than women of Western European ancestry. These carriers are at much higher risk for breast cancer.

Due to the above facts about Black/African American women, we recommend that Black/African American women be evaluated for their individual breast cancer risk by their referring physician no later than the age of 30. Annual screening mammograms are normally recommended starting at the age of 40. Those identified as high risk may need a screening mammogram, supplemental ultrasound or MRI before the age of 40.

Schedule your annual mammogram today at 310-517-4709!