Data: Breast cancer mortality rate higher for African American women in Chicago

October 21, 2010

African American women in Chicago have a 62 percent higher death rate from breast cancer than white women.

The racial disparity in Chicago is higher than the national average of 41 percent.

Dr. Steve Whitman is with the institute.

He said, "We think black women have more trouble getting mammograms. We think that when they get mammograms the mammograms are often of inferior quality and so for example, cancers are missed. And then we think also black women don't have adequate access to treatment once the cancer is diagnosed."

Whitman said the institute has been tracking the figures for decades. He said in that time the breast cancer mortality rate for white women has gone down in Chicago but the rate has slightly increased for African American women.