Monday, March 27, 2006—Black American women are 19 percent more likely than white women to die of breast cancer, a new study finds.

And a second study in the March 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that minority women in the United States are half as likely as white women to receive recommended post-surgical drug treatment for breast cancer. This may partially explain why black women are more likely to die from breast cancer, the researchers said.

In the first study, researchers reviewed data from 20 previous breast cancer studies that included information on patient survival, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

In the second study, researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reviewed the medical records of 677 women who had surgery for early-stage breast cancer in six New York City-area hospitals in 1999 and 2000.

They found that minority women were only 50 percent as likely as white women to receive adjuvant treatment, even though they had similar rates of referrals to oncologists.

The likelihood of under-use of adjuvant treatment was 34 percent among black women, 23 percent among Hispanic women and 16 percent among white women.

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