Statistics show that black women are less likely than white women to get breast cancer. But when they do, they are typically younger, the cancer is more aggressive and they are less likely to survive.
Even so, doctors have been assessing every woman's risk for breast cancer by using a model developed in 1989 according to data based on white women with the disease. A report out Tuesday says that finally researchers are asking the right questions.
"African ancestry in and of itself might be associated with a genetic predisposition for developing very aggressive forms of breast cancer." said Dr. Lisa Newman with the University of Michigan Cancer Center.
The study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute introduces a revised risk assessment model based on updated science. The goal is to encourage more black women to participate in clinical trials and to offer them more opportunities to find cancer at a younger age.