Health and Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer

  • Clement G. YedjouEmail author
  • Jennifer N. Sims
  • Lucio Miele
  • Felicite Noubissi
  • Leroy Lowe
  • Duber D. Fonseca
  • Richard A. Alo
  • Marinelle Payton
  • Paul B. Tchounwou
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1152)


Breast cancer is the most common noncutaneous malignancy and the second most lethal form of cancer among women in the United States. It currently affects more than one in ten women worldwide. The chance for a female to be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime has significantly increased from 1 in 11 women in 1975 to 1 in 8 women (Altekruse, SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2007. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, 2010). This chance for a female of being diagnosed with cancer generally increases with age (Howlader et al, SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2010. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, 2013). Fortunately, the mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased in recent years due to increased emphasis on early detection and more effective treatments in the White population. Although the mortality rates have declined in some ethnic populations, the overall cancer incidence among African American and Hispanic population has continued to grow. The goal of the work presented in this book chapter is to highlight similarities and differences in breast cancer morbidity and mortality rates among non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black populations. This book chapter also provides an overview of breast cancer, racial/ethnic disparities in breast cancer, breast cancer incidence and mortality rate linked to hereditary, major risk factors of breast cancer among minority population, breast cancer treatment, and health disparity. A considerable amount of breast cancer treatment research have been conducted, but with limited success for African Americans compared to other ethnic groups. Therefore, new strategies and approaches are needed to promote breast cancer prevention, improve survival rates, reduce breast cancer mortality, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of racial/ethnic minorities. In addition, it is vital that leaders and medical professionals from minority population groups be represented in decision-making in research so that racial disparity in breast cancer can be well-studied, fully addressed, and ultimately eliminated in breast cancer.


Breast cancer Racial disparity Black women White women and other ethnic groups 



This research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant #G12MD007581 through the RCMI-Center for Environmental Health and in part by the NIH grant #P20MD006899 through the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities at Jackson State University. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the writing of the book chapter.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clement G. Yedjou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer N. Sims
    • 2
  • Lucio Miele
    • 3
  • Felicite Noubissi
    • 1
  • Leroy Lowe
    • 4
  • Duber D. Fonseca
    • 1
  • Richard A. Alo
    • 1
  • Marinelle Payton
    • 2
  • Paul B. Tchounwou
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Laboratory, NIH/NIMHD RCMI-Center for Environmental Health, College of Science, Engineering and TechnologyJackson State UniversityJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public ServiceJackson State University, Jackson Medical Mall - Thad Cochran CenterJacksonUSA
  3. 3.LSU Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, Department of GeneticsNew OrleansUSA
  4. 4.Getting to Know Cancer (NGO)TruroCanada

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