WEDNESDAY, Oct. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The breast cancer death rate is continuing to decline, although the decline has slowed in recent years, according to a report published online Oct. 2 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Carol E. DeSantis, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues present statistics for the incidence, mortality, survival, and screening of female breast cancer in the United States.

The researchers found that from 2012 to 2016, there was a slight increase in the breast cancer incidence rate by 0.3 percent per year, mainly due to increased rates of local stage and hormone receptor-positive disease. The breast cancer death rate continued to decrease, with a 40 percent reduction from 1989 to 2017, translating to 375,900 breast cancer deaths averted. There was a slowing in the pace of decline, from an annual decrease of 1.9 percent during 1998 to 2011 to 1.3 percent during 2011 through 2017, mainly due to trends in white women. After widening in the past three decades, the black-white disparity in breast cancer mortality remained stable since 2011. Despite a lower incidence rate in blacks (126.7 versus 130.8), the death rate remained 40 percent higher (28.4 versus 20.3 deaths per 100,000); this disparity was magnified in black women aged <50 years.

“More can and should be done to ensure that all women have access to quality care to help eliminate disparities and further reduce breast cancer mortality,” DeSantis said in a statement.

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