Engaging African Americans in Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies: A Partnership Between a Community Cancer Center and the African American Community in Delaware.
Although breast cancer incidence has been stable for non-Hispanic whites since the early 2000s, incidence rates of invasive breast cancers in African Americans are rising. This is especially true for younger black women. Breast cancer incidence in black women under 45 years has recently surpassed that of their white counterparts.
This is concerning as breast cancer specific mortality is higher in African Americans than all other races. Although many breast cancer risk factors have been identified, there is a need to develop breast prevention strategies specifically targeting the AA community. A potential factor contributing to increased breast cancer incidence in African Americans is an increasing obesity rate among this population.
A recent study using ecological analysis to quantify the long-term effect of breast cancer risk factors found that black women younger than 40 years experienced the largest increase in mean body mass index (BMI)compared to white women over the same period. Likewise, African Americans have
higher BMI at breast cancer diagnosis and this may be related to presentation with later stage disease.
Guidelines developed by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/ AICR) to aid in cancer prevention efforts include maintaining a healthy body weight, increasing physical activity, eating a nutritious diet, avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol consumption may be helpful to mitigate increasing breast
cancer incidence in African Americans.
However, a recent study in a prospective cohort of 566,398 adults showed that adherence to these guidelines is lowest among the African American population. In this study, adherence to one or less of the risk factor guidelines had a 38% increased.