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The role of race and genetics in cancer outcomes

The death rate from breast cancer dropped 39 percent from 1989 to 2015. However, a woman’s chances of survival may depend on her race as much as advances in medical treatment. White woman in Ohio may have a better chance of surviving breast cancer compared to black women. Asian, Hispanic and native American women had the lowest death rates from this type of cancer.

On a positive note, an increase in outreach and education among black women has seen them get mammograms at a higher rate than white women. There are several reasons why black women may be more likely to die from breast cancer than others, however. First, they may be more likely to have triple negative tumors, which are the hardest to eradicate. Second, they may lack access to tools that may allow for early detection as well as to drugs such as Tamoxifen that may increase the possibility of survival.

Finally, there are socioeconomic factors that prevent black women from getting the care that they need. It may be harder to take time off of work or find suitable transportation to see a doctor. Black women in the South have higher gaps in breast cancer survival rates compared to white women whereas the gap is much smaller in the Northeast. This may be because of discrimination in the health care system.

If a doctor error leads to a breast cancer patient getting sicker or passing away, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice suit. The victim or the family of the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Medical malpractice injury lawyers may review the case to determine if negligence occurred. Medical records, physician statements and other testimony may establish that this was the case.