A new study launched at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health aims to find out why breast-cancer deaths are higher among black women versus white women.
According to an April 4 press release from the American Cancer Society, 2012 data show that black women succumbed to the disease at a rate 42 percent higher than white women.
The reason for the disparity remains a question for researchers to sort out. Cher Dallal, assistant professor at the university's school of public health, said in the release that genetic and other physiological factors, as well as whether a woman is physically active, may play a role.
“Likely a person’s own biology along with factors such as physical activity and sedentary behavior play a role,” Dallal said in the release. “However, there has been little research done in this area, particularly among black breast cancer survivors.”
Over the next five years, the ACS will be funding the professor's research as she assess the blood work and exercise metrics of 100 breast cancer survivors. She hopes to identify signs among the survivors that can then be used to advise women coping with the disease.
“With this information, our hope is that we will better understand physical activity and sedentary behaviors among breast cancer survivors and whether these behaviors influence biological profiles,” Dallal said in the release.