Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality: Reasons Revealed

For several decades, researchers have documented racial disparities in breast cancer mortality. Because breast cancer care relies extensively on an effective multidisciplinary team, inevitable questions arise concerning the roles that biologic, social, and health systems play in determining patient outcomes.

In “Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment and Outcomes: Biological, Social, and Health System Determinants and Opportunities for Research,” Drs. Stephanie B. Wheeler, Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, and Lisa A. Carey analyze existing literature to reveal underlying reasons for racial disparities in breast cancer care, emphasizing treatment disparities.

Because evidence suggests that when women across racial groups receive equal treatment, equal outcomes follow, the researchers recommend that actively working towards equal access to health care resources should be a priority for reducing disparity and improving treatment outcomes. Recognizing this variation in cancer care could allow policymakers to identify strategies to equally distribute medical expertise and infrastructure across multiple user populations.

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