Breast cancer deadly and aggressive among blacks

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Washington, Nov 28 (UNI) Breast cancer tends to be much more aggressive and deadly among African American women, a recent study revealed.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute yesterday detailed how breast cancer and other diseases can affect racial groups differently.

The new research examined the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, popularly known as the Gail model which was based largely on data collected from about 240,000 white women.

In the first major reassessment of the tool, it was found that the formula that doctors always used in the US to calculate a woman's risk of breast cancer underestimates the danger for black women.

''We've been concerned about the assumptions we had to make for African American women and other racial and ethnic groups for some time,'' Mitchell H. Gail of the National Cancer Institute, who led the re-evaluation of the formula he developed, said.

''It turns out that we have been underestimating the risk for African American women,'' the Washington Post quoted Dr Gail as saying.

This advancement could ultimately lead into more women undergoing mammograms and other examinations to detect the disease in its earliest. Moreover, it will be helpful in tracing most treatable stages, taking drugs to reduce risk, and signing up for studies evaluating better warning signs.

''This could very much change the way we counsel African American women,'' breast cancer expert at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Nancy Davidson said.

UNI

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