Incidence of breast cancer among African American women is increasing

Breast cancer statistics published this week indicate a continuing upward trend for rates of breast cancer among African American women in the United States. The incidence of breast cancer in this population of women who have historically had low rates of breast cancer is now approaching that seen among white women.

Breast cancer mortality rates

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in American women, accounting for nearly a third of cancer cases. It is second only to lung cancer with respect to mortality, with over forty thousand breast cancer deaths in US women being predicted for this year alone.

Between 2008 and 2012, there has been little change in breast cancer rates among Whites, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaskan Natives. In contrast, breast cancer incidence rates showed an annual increase of 0.4% in African American women.

This disparity has meant that overall breast cancer incidence rates for African American women and white women converged for the first time. Breast cancer incidence was in fact higher among African American women compared with white women in seven states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee).

The increase in breast cancer incidence rates increase among African American women was reflected in a higher mortality rate. Breast cancer mortality rates have always been higher in African American women than in white women but with these increases, combined with a reduction in breast cancer deaths among white women, the gap is getting bigger.

In 2012, death rates were 42% higher in African American women than in white women. The distribution of breast cancer subtypes varies by race/ethnicity and Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive type breast cancer associated with a poor survival rate.

On a more positive note, the report also highlighted that the majority of US women with a history of breast cancer were now cancer-free and breast cancer mortality rates have dropped by 36% since 1989.

Kate Bass

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Kate Bass

Kate graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a biochemistry B.Sc. degree. She also has a natural flair for writing and enthusiasm for scientific communication, which made medical writing an obvious career choice. In her spare time, Kate enjoys walking in the hills with friends and travelling to learn more about different cultures around the world.


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  1. Vadim Shapoval Vadim Shapoval Ukraine says:

    Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African-American women. Adult men normally have 35 to 45 mg of iron per kilogram of body weight. Premenopausal women have lower iron stores as a result of their recurrent blood loss through menstruation. Why women live longer than men? Men accumulate more iron. The reasons why men seem more prone to both develop and die from cancer are complex and are only beginning to be understood, researchers say. Cancer loves iron; researchers love money, the Father of Oncology says. The quantity of iron in body's cells, tissues, and organs increases with age; cancer is primarily a disease of older people. More than two thirds of the body's iron content is incorporated into hemoglobin. Blood contains iron. So if you lose blood, you lose iron, your precancerous tumors lose iron (most people develop many small cancers in their lifetime). The average results of laboratory measurements, including the hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), serum transferrin saturation (TS), serum ferritin, and white blood cell count of African-Americans differ from those of Whites. Compared to Whites, African-Americans appear to have lower TS and higher serum ferritin levels. In theory, higher ferritin levels can mean a large buildup of iron in the body; lower ferritin levels often mean anticancer iron deficiency is present. Treatment for iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) focuses on increasing your iron stores, but IDA is the enemy of cancer. Women vary in body proportions, skin color, iron metabolism, and so on. Genes involved in iron metabolism include different cancer genes (iron-overloaded genes) and anticancer genes (iron-deficiency genes). Because iron-overloaded genes are passed down from parents to offspring, breast cancers tend to cluster in families. Primary tumors always develop at body sites of excessive iron deposits; such deposits can be inherited or acquired; breast cancers can be inherited or acquired. Iron-overloaded behavior (eating processed meats, lack of physical activity, being overweight) distorts iron metabolism; causes breast cancer. Preparing beer in iron pots or drums results in high iron content (African Dietary iron overload causes cancers). Iron is present in all cells; UV radiation in sunlight kills skin cells. Sunlight is a well-known iron-related carcinogen. Iron-deficiency behavior or/and iron-deficiency health problems can neutralize precancerous cells. All cancers can be successfully treated in hospitals (direct intratumoral injections of iron-deficiency agents, special diets, blood donations). Cancer patients die because scientific iron/cancer information-1905-2015 is often distorted or ignored. Cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry; cancer is a disease that starts in iron-overloaded cells, the Father of Oncology explains.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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