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Minority women, especially African-Americans, are more likely to be diagnosed later in the disease than white women, and are also less likely to receive recommended treatments, according to researchers.

The largest study to ever look at the disparities in breast cancer treatment in the US was released Tuesday by the American Cancer Association. It confirms what other reports have said before: Black women are more likely to have larger tumors, to be diagnosed later and to receive wrong treatment than white women.

“We found that there is a consistent pattern of late diagnosis and not receiving recommended treatment for some racial and ethnic groups across all breast cancer subtypes,” the study’s lead author, Lu Chen of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, said in a statement.

Chen’s team looked at data on more than 100,000 American women listed in the National Cancer Institute’s cancer registries. Researchers concluded that other groups of minority women, such as Native Americans, are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced stage breast cancer.

African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women in particular had the highest risk of being diagnosed with stage IV triple-negative breast cancer,” the study said. Black women had a 40 to 70 percent higher risk of having stage IV cancer – the stage at which the disease spreads throughout the body and can no longer be cured.

African-American and Hispanic women were also consistently at higher risk of not appropriate treatment across all subtypes of cancer. In other words, they are getting poor care, leading to worse outcomes with the disease, researchers found.

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