A new report published Tuesday in the American Cancer Society's journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and cited in a news article from CBS News on Wednesday show the number of black women who are diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise, but doctors are not sure what is causing the increased numbers.
About eight in 10 breast cancer cases and almost nine in 10 breast cancer deaths occur in women 50 years of age and older.
From 2006 through 2010, breast cancer rates increased 0.2 percent among black women but remained stable among whites, researchers found. White women still have more cases of breast cancer, however, with about 127 cases per 100,000 compared with 118 cases per 100,000 black women.
Previous research suggests black women with the disease fare worse than diagnosed white women.
A Harvard study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research medical conference in Oct. 2012 found within three years of a breast cancer diagnosis, black women were 50 percent more likely to die than white women.
Study author Carol DeSantis said the most important thing a woman can do is get screened regularly. "In addition, lifestyle plays an important role," she said. "Not gaining weight, regular physical activity and only drinking moderately can help reduce the risk of breast cancer."
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
The American Cancer Society released estimates for 2013: about 232,340 new cases will be diagnosed and 39,620 women will die from breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%).
There are many ways you can donate to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, where 91 percent of profits go towards breast cancer awareness research and programs. Visit the website to find out how you can donate your time and money into the efforts of lowering the statistic of deaths from breast cancer.