Racism gives African-American women breast cancer

This video is called Breast cancer – Symptoms and treatment.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Link flagged between racism, breast cancer

Posted Fri Jul 6, 2007 7:27am AEST

Black women who feel they have been victims of racial discrimination are more likely than their peers to develop breast cancer, a large study suggests.

The study, which followed 59,000 African-American women for six years, found that those who reported more incidents of racial discrimination had a higher risk of breast cancer.

Researchers found the relationship was stronger among women younger than 50.

They say this finding is particularly interesting in light of the fact that, unlike the case with older women, breast cancer is more common among young black women than young white women.

The researchers led by Dr Teletia R Taylor of Howard University in Washington DC say it is possible racial discrimination plays some role.

They have reported their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Past studies have suggested that perceived racial discrimination can take a toll on a person’s health over time.

A possible explanation is that unjust treatment serves as a source of chronic stress, which itself has been linked to poorer physical health.

In the current study, women were asked how often they faced “everyday” discrimination, like receiving poorer service than other people at stores, or feeling that people are “afraid” of them or act superior to them.

They were also asked whether they had ever been treated unjustly on the job, in trying to get housing, or by the police – all considered examples of “major” discrimination.

Overall, Dr Taylor’s team found women who said they frequently ran up against everyday types of discrimination had a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

The same pattern was seen with major discrimination. For example, women who reported on-the-job discrimination had a 32 per cent higher risk of breast cancer than women who reported no such prejudice.

Women who said they had faced discrimination on the job, in housing and from the police were 48 per cent more likely to develop the disease than those who reported no incidents of major discrimination.

Dr Taylor’s team says more studies are needed to confirm these findings and to uncover the reasons for the connection between racism and breast cancer.

Poor Americans in the United States suffer hidden burden of parasitic and other neglected diseases: here.

BLACK HEALTH MATTERS “The inequalities African Americans battle are plenty and severe — but the widening health gap is arguably among one of the most crucial and inadequately addressed concerns. Black Health Matters hopes to help change that. Today, HuffPost’s Black Voices and Healthy Living are launching a new editorial initiative that aims to dissect disparities in health and discuss ways to combat them.” [HuffPost]

4 thoughts on “Racism gives African-American women breast cancer

  1. House Ways and Means Report: African American Children in Foster Care

    The Honorable Charles B. Rangel, Chairman
    The Honorable Jim McDermott, Chairman Income Security and Family Support

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Contact: J. Jioni Palmer or Matthew Beck (202) 225-8933
    McDermott Contact: Mike DeCesare (202) 225-3106

    Rangel and McDermott Highlight Need
    to Reduce the High Number of
    African American Children in Foster Care

    New Report Shows Significant Over-Representation
    of African American Children in Foster Care System

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel released a report today from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which shows that African American children are twice as likely to enter foster care than White children, even though children of all races are equally as likely to suffer from abuse and neglect. The report also found that Black children remain in foster care longer than other children.

    “Every foster child dreams of a permanent home. For far too many African American children, this is a dream deferred,” Rangel said in response to the GAO report. “We need to work to reduce barriers to permanency for all foster children, but such an effort is particularly necessary for Black children. The GAO report highlights several reforms that might make a positive difference, including providing federal assistance for relatives providing permanent homes for foster children.”

    The GAO report found that a variety of factors contribute to the disproportionate number of African American children in foster care, including poverty (which often reduces access to supportive services for families), racial bias in the reporting of neglect and abuse, and limited permanent placement options.

    “A child’s need for a permanent home is not dictated by the color of his or her skin. And yet this report clearly confirms that African American children are much more likely to be stuck in foster care limbo than other children,” said Representative Jim McDermott, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, which has jurisdiction over the foster care system. “We should evaluate GAO’s suggested remedies and then build a consensus for action.”

    The report specifically recommended that Congress amend federal law to provide federal reimbursement for legal guardianship, similar to that currently provided for adoption. Such guardianship payments would go to relatives who want to permanently care for a child but may find it difficult to adopt because they do not want to formally terminate the parental rights of their kin. According to the GAO, African American children are more likely to be placed with relatives while in foster care than White children.


  2. Pingback: Nuclear energy and breast cancer in Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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