According to the Center for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2013, Black women were less likely to get breast cancer than our white counterparts. However, we were more likely to succumb to the deadly disease. 40 percent more likely, to be exact. Since 2010, breast cancer rates among white women have decreased while rates among Black women have slightly increased.
Currently, the rates are approximately the same between Black and white women, but breast cancer still proves to be significantly more fatal for Black women. One reason is that Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, a more aggressive form of the illness with a higher likelihood of returning after treatment. Other reasons include later detection, lack of healthcare and poor access to care.
As with many things, we have to take our health into our own hands. While there is no one way to completely prevent the occurrence of breast cancer, there are measures we can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Minimize alcohol consumption
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, multiple studies have found a correlation between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. One study found that women who consumed two to three drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Alcohol has been proven to alter the way that a woman’s body metabolizes estrogen. As a result, this can result in an increase in blood estrogen levels. Higher estrogen levels have been linked to breast cancer. Of course, low to moderate use of alcohol in women poses no risk. One drink per day in women has not been known to pose serious health risks.