Posts Tagged ‘Breast cancer’

Breast Cancer Death Rates

October 18, 2007

A study released Monday reported breast cancer death rates dropped more than two percent from 2002-2004, more than double the rate in the preceding decade. But rates for African-American women have increased in recent years. Though they are less likely to get breast cancer than white women, they are almost 80 percent more likely to die from it.

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force released its own study and recommendations for decreasing the growing rates of breast cancer among black women.

Even before the recommendations were released, one group in Chicago was working to remove barriers to treatment. The Chicago Chapter of Sisters Network –the only breast cancer support group for African-American women in the U.S.– is launching a new initiative to improve quality of care for black women.

The group will partner with Chicago-area hospitals to send trained volunteers to help breast cancer patients navigate the medical system, get referrals to social workers and provide transportation and babysitting for patients. These efforts echo some of the recommendations made Wednesday by the Task Force.

Key Recommendations from the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force: 

  • Provide expanded insurance coverage and expanded availability of disability coverage
  • Educate providers regarding cultural barriers to care and addressing issues of cultural beliefs, health literacy and trust in the medical system
  • Minimize logistical barriers to care, such as transportation and childcare.