Oakland Health Advocates Plan Conference to Raise Breast Cancer Awareness Among Blacks
Concerned about high breast cancer mortality rate among black women, the Northern California Cancer Center and health care advocates in Oakland are planning a conference to raise community awareness, the Oakland Tribune reports. In 1994, breast cancer mortality rate for whites was 87.1 per 100,000, while the rate for blacks was 101.2 per 100,000. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be approximately 130,800 cancer cases among blacks nationwide this year; among black women, 31% of cases will be for breast cancer. The Tribune reports that the Bay area has one of the highest breast cancer rates in the nation, which doctors say may be attributed to a high screening rate in the area. Dr. Dee West, an epidemiologist with the cancer center, said that while free screenings are "readily available," treatment costs might factor into the higher cancer rates among low-income women. She added, "Black women are being screened earlier but they are later being diagnosed (with breast cancer) at higher rates so there is a serious problem." The conference will feature medical speakers, resource materials, information on community agencies and "discussions with breast cancer survivors." Shirley Lampkin, a community health advocate, said, "We have to break the silence about breast cancer in the black community." The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the California African American Breast Cancer Task Force and other not-for-profits are sponsoring the conference, which will be held Sept. 29 at the Oakland Marriott (Bailey, Oakland Tribune, 9/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.