Closing the Gaps on Breast Cancer Mortality Rates

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Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors from the Pink Ladies of Charles County, Md., rally Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Karen Bleier/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Bleier/Getty

While more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths are anticipated by the American Cancer Society in 2007, some communities across the United States have significantly higher mortality rates than others.

Researchers, hired by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, investigated eight locations in an effort to identify common reasons for their above-average mortality rates from the disease.

The findings, detailed in a report released Thursday titled "Breast Cancer Mortality Report: Closing the Gaps in Eight Communities" suggests that these communities have certain common barriers to screening and treatment.

In these eight areas, including Chicago; Madison County, Miss.; Moultrie County, Ill.; McDowell County, W. Va.; Edgecombe County, N.C.; Harlem; Washington, D.C.; and Wayne County, Mich., preventative care and availability of needed doctors and specialists falls well below that in other areas of the country, according to the report. All of the areas claim low literacy rates and below-average household incomes.

Restricted access to screenings and skilled radiologists, long waiting lines for exams, and lack of insurance coverage for mammography are among other issues identified as unique to some of these locations.

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