Historically, white women have had the highest incidence of breast cancer among women 40 years and older.
But a recent study shows that incidence rates are now converging among white and African American women, especially among the 50 to 59 age group.
Dr. Michelle Shayne, oncologist at the Wilmot Cancer Center, says the reason for the shift is not known. She says one possibility is greater awareness among African American women about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. The figures may also reflect a change in lifestyle. “I’m not saying it is, but it might be a trend that is happening in the African American community that women for professional reasons or whatnot are delaying childbirth, and that is a risk factor for the development of breast cancer,” said Shayne.
The study was published in A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.