Advancing breast cancer research in black women

woman with doctor The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is conducting the largest study to date on genetic and biological factors in breast cancer risk among black women. While more women are surviving breast cancer, researchers still don’t understand many issues. One major issue is the gap in survival rates between white and black women. Black women are more likely to die of the disease, and are more often diagnosed with more aggressive subtypes of breast cancer.

NCI researchers will be reviewing specimens, data and resources from 18 previous studies. They’ll examine the genomes of black women with breast cancer, comparing them with the genomes of white women with breast cancer and healthy black women. By doing so, the NCI aims to identify genetic differences among these groups of women and narrow the gaps in care. The hope is this research will lead to more personalized treatment plans for patients based on their genetic makeup.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to review your overall health, including any risk factors for breast cancer. These include:

  • age
  • being overweight
  • not getting enough exercise
  • your family’s history of breast cancer

Follow your doctor’s recommendations about getting regular mammograms and discuss any concerns you may have about the disease.