African-American women as a group fare less well than white women when it comes to breast cancer. Recent research shows that while African-American women are less likely to get breast cancer than Caucasian women, they are more likely to die from it. Socio-economic factors such as the cost of treatment and a lack of access to health care can contribute to a delay in diagnosis, which partially explains the poorer prognosis But researchers are also finding some biological differences in African-Americans with the disease. In one study doctors found that 21 percent of African-American women with breast cancer had a more aggressive type of tumor, compared with 10 percent of Caucasians Dr. Gloria Morris with the Kimmel Cancer Center said, 'These breast caners are more difficult to treat, less responsive to chemotherapy and may be more likely to return." Researchers also note that few African-American women participate n clinical studies Dr. Ramona Swab with the Fox Chase Cancer Center said, "Historically less than 10 percent of people that enroll in clinical trails are African-American, so if there are any differences, we're just not able to tease that out." Doctors are encouraging more African-American women to take part in research efforts, and get tested for breast cancer early.
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