More needs to be done to help Black women fight breast cancer, says OUWB prof

A Beaumont physician and OUWB professor says health care disparities have kept Black women from fighting breast cancer as effectively as their white counterparts — and that needs to change.

Murray Rebner, M.D., senior staff radiology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and professor of diagnostic radiology, OUWB, presented “Racial Disparities in Breast Care” earlier this year at the Society of Breast Imaging/American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Symposium.

Rebner says that breast cancer is the most common diagnosed nonskin cancer in the U.S. and the second most common cause of death in white and black women.

Between 1989 and 2017, however, breast cancer death rates decreased 40 percent for white women compared with 26 percent for Black women, according to the American Cancer Society. Further, the CDC says breast cancer mortality is 41 percent higher in Black women compared with white women.

During October’s breast cancer awareness month — and every other month of the year — Rebner says he wants to raise patient and physician awareness.

“I want the population that’s affected to know they are at a disadvantage by not partaking in screening as much as the white population,” he says. “It’s important that physicians understand this as well because they are the main driver in getting their patients to get screened.”

(Only partial stories are posted here with hopes to provide a brief overview and introduction to my most recent work. The full version of this story may be found on the OUWB website here.)

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