Reporting Mike Krauser
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UPDATED: 10/21/2010 1:20 p.m.
CHICAGO (WBBM) – Hundreds of women rallied in the Loop Thursday, demanding more funding for breast cancer screening. They’re responding to a big racial disparity in cancer mortality rates.
The Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium, which consists of groups of health care providers, says African-American women are a lot more likely to die of the disease than white women.
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Dr. Ann Murphy who heads the Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force notes the breast cancer mortality rate is 62 percent higher for black women than white women in Chicago. The death rate for black women is only 27 percent higher in New York City.
“There has to be something fundamentally wrong with our system here,” she said.
Murphy asserts the problem is less access for black women to breast cancer screening and treatment. Advocates are pushing for an additional $8 million in state money for the breast and cervical cancer treatment program.
According to new research, the consortium says, two-thirds of local hospitals are unable to demonstrate that they’re meeting quality standards for early detection of breast cancer.
That means they’re missing cancer in when it is small.
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The hospitals provided information for the study with the agreement they would not be identified.
The research found that hospitals in black communities don’t do as good a job in early detection or treatment.