The Landmark Series-Addressing Disparities in Breast Cancer Screening: New Recommendations for Black Women.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Annals of surgical oncology : the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology


washington; swedish; diversity


Randomized, clinical trials have established the efficacy of screening mammography in improving survival from breast cancer for women through detection of early, asymptomatic disease. However, disparities in survival rates between black women and women from other racial and ethnic groups following breast cancer diagnosis persist. Various professional groups have different, somewhat conflicting, guidelines with regards to recommended age for commencing screening as well as recommended frequency of screening exams, but the trials upon which these recommendations are based were not specifically designed to examine benefit among black women. Furthermore, these recommendations do not appear to incorporate the unique epidemiological circumstances of breast cancer among black women, including higher rates of diagnosis before age 40 years and greater likelihood of advanced stage at diagnosis, into their formulation. In this review, we examined the epidemiologic and socioeconomic factors that are associated with breast cancer among black women and assess the implications of these factors for screening in this population. Specifically, we recommend that by no later than age 25 years, all black women should undergo baseline assessment for future risk of breast cancer utilizing a model that incorporates race (e.g., Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool [BCRAT], formerly the Gail model) and that this assessment should be conducted by a breast specialist or a healthcare provider (e.g., primary care physician or gynecologist) who is trained to assess breast cancer risk and is aware of the increased risks of early (i.e., premenopausal) and biologically aggressive (e.g., late-stage, triple-negative) breast cancer among black women.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children

Clinical Institute







Population Health