Each year during the month of February we celebrate Black History Month, which marks the celebration of achievements by African Americans. In contrast to the recognitions and ceremonies of the month, however, we continue to face a troubling health statistic: African-American women have lower breast cancer survival rates than white women.
According to the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2013-2014 report, African-American women experience a higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40 and are more likely to die from the disease at every age. In fact, by 2010, breast cancer death rates were 41 percent higher in African-American women than in white women. This striking divergence in long-term mortality trends began in the early 1980s and may reflect both earlier detection and greater mammography usage by white women.
In response to this disparity, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created theAfrican-American Women and Mass Media (AAMM) campaign, using radio and print media to make more women aware of the importance of getting mammograms to find breast cancer early. The campaign also sought to increase use of CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) screening services among African American women aged 40-64.
The AAMM pilot campaign goals include, here.