A new study led by researchers at the University of California at Irvine finds that for women diagnosed with breast cancer, Black women wait longer to have surgery than White women. The researchers examined the medical records of 8,860 women, ages 15 to 39, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is rare in women of this age group but when it does occur, it typically progresses more rapidly than it does in older women.
The results showed that 8 percent of White women took six weeks or more to have surgery or start chemotherapy. But 15 percent of Black women waited six weeks or more for treatment. For patients who eventually opted for surgery, 90 percent of women who waited less than two weeks after diagnosis were alive five years later. For women who waited six weeks or more before surgery, 80 percent survived for at least five years.
The study was led by Hoda Anton-Culver, professor of epidemiology at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine. She holds a Ph.D. from St. Andrews University in Scotland. The research, entitled, “Delay in Surgical Treatment and Survival After Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Young Women by Race/Ethnicity,” was published on the website of the Journal of the American Medical Association. It may be accessed here.