American Cancer Society: Fewer Women Are Dying From Breast Cancer

hand holding breast cancer ribbon(BlackDoctor.org) — Fewer women are dying from breast cancer, largely because of advances in screening and treatment. Poorer women, however, are seeing a slower and later decline in their risk of dying from breast cancer, in part because they don’t have as much access to these life-saving advances.

In 2008, 51.4% of poor women aged 40 and older had a screening mammogram in the past two years. By contrast, 72.8% of wealthier women had a mammogram in the past two years.

These are some of the findings from the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012 report. It appears in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place every October.

In 2011, an estimated 230,480 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the new report. About 39,520 women will die from the disease in 2011. Beside skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer seen among American women.

In the early 1990s and before, women who lived in affluent areas were most likely to die from breast cancer. Since then, these rates have been higher among women in poorer areas, where the decline in death rates began later and was slower. Overall, breast cancer death rates decreased 2.2% per year from 1990 to 2007.