TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The incidence rates of breast cancer have increased slowly and breast cancer mortality rates have declined in recent years, with a persistent racial disparity in breast cancer mortality, according to a report published online Oct. 3 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Angela N. Giaquinto, M.S.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues updated female breast cancer statistics in the United States.

The authors note that the incidence rates of breast cancer have increased in most of the past four decades. The rate increased by 0.5 percent annually during 2010 to 2019, mainly driven by localized-stage and hormone receptor-positive disease. However, there has been a steady decline in breast cancer mortality rates since their peak in 1989, although the pace has slowed in recent years (1.3 percent annually from 2011 to 2020 compared with 1.9 percent annually from 2002 to 2011). The death rate dropped by 43 percent during 1989 to 2020, resulting in 460,000 fewer breast cancer deaths. For women of all racial/ethnic groups except American Indians/Alaska Natives, the death rate declined similarly. The racial disparity in breast cancer mortality persisted, despite a lower incidence rate in Black versus White women (127.8 versus 133.7 per 100,000); the death rate was 40 percent higher in Black women overall and twofold higher in adult women younger than 50 years. For every molecular subtype and stage of disease, except stage I, Black women had the lowest five-year relative survival of any racial/ethnic group.

“The slow decline in breast cancer mortality during the most recent period partly reflects stagnant screening uptake and suboptimal receipt of timely and high-quality treatment,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to Genentech.

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