Study: African American Women Talk About Disparity in Breast Cancer Survival

Within five years of being diagnosed with breast cancer, 8% of Caucasian women die; for African American women, it’s 21%, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A troubling disparity that a recent study in Supportive Care in Cancer focused on. The study includes data based on 60 interviews with African American women who survived, as well as surveys of 1,000 other African American survivors. In a Q&A with one of the authors, Patricia K. Bradley, an associate professor in the College of Nursing at Villanova University, explains that there are a number of reasons for the disparity.

Bradley says that African American women perceived the health care system as not forthcoming enough in information, and that the information that they do receive is inferior. “They gave examples of overhearing someone in the waiting room, who happened to be white, discussing information about management of their disease that the participant had not received, leading to a sense of mistrust about the information they were given,” Bradley tells the newspaper.

Providers should also take into account the spirituality of African American women. “Most of the women that I’ve spoken to say that the gender and race of the provider doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in their heart, in terms of caring about the patient as a person and acknowledging the faith of the woman and her need to feel connected to God.”

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Source: Supportive Care in Cancer