Racial disparities in medical care, with black patients often receiving substandard care in comparison with their white counterparts, are not a new discovery.
However, in what NBC News is describing as the largest study to look at the disparities in breast-cancer tratement in the U.S. (just in time for Pinktober), it is all but confirmed that black women are indeed more likely to experience a worse type of breast cancer and often do not even receive the same standard of care as white women.
According to the researchers, black women are more likely than white women to get the wrong treatment for breast cancer to begin with, are often diagnosed later and also have bigger tumors.
Native American women are also subjected to the same type of inferior treatment and are also at a higher risk for more aggressive cancer.
"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," one researcher, Lu Chen, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told NBC News.
The team studied data on more than 100,000 American women listed on a National Cancer Institute cancer registry, according to NBC.
"Women in several racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced stage breast cancer," Chen's team wrote in their report, according to NBC News. "African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women in particular had the highest risk of being diagnosed with stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer." The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Black women, the team noted, had a 40 to 70 percent higher risk of having stage 4 cancer than white women. Native American women were almost four times as likely to have stage 4 triple-negative cancer, which is incredibly hard to treat.
Black and Hispanic women were also 30 to 40 percent more likely to get the wrong treatment for their type of cancer.
Read more at NBC News.