Summary: Breast Cancer 2nd
Leading Cause of Death in African-American Women
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among
African-American women due to the fact that they generally begin
using oral contraceptives earlier and abortions are performed
earlier in the woman’s reproductive life.
According to Life Advocate Magazine, breast
cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among
African-American women. While the incidence of breast cancer is
increasing for both the black and white population, young black
women seem to be getting more breast cancer and dying from it more
often than young white women. Researchers have identified two major
risk factors that have been more prevalent in young black women than
in whites: the early use of oral contraceptives and having an
abortion that was performed early in the woman’s reproductive life.
The study went on to say that these young women would be at an
especially high risk for breast cancer since the risk of having an
abortion before a full term birth has been noted to carry a 150%
increased risk of getting breast cancer.1
1Black Women and Breast
Cancer, Life Advocate Magazine, May/June 1998, pp. 1-4.