Skip Navigation

HHS HealthBeat (December 4, 2012)

Who gets breast cancer

A woman gets a mammogram.

Take the Next Step
The Basics of Breast Cancer  

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Most women who have breast cancer don’t know it. But mammography can pick up X-ray signs of the disease before there are symptoms such as the lump in the breast. And the earlier the diagnosis, the better the odds of survival.

But researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say all women don’t benefit equally. The CDC says that, despite improvements in diagnosis and treatment, black women still are diagnosed when the cancers are more advanced, and are more likely than white women to die.

CDC researcher Lisa Richardson says early detection is crucial for all women:

“For women who are diagnosed at the earliest stages, five-year survival is greater than 95 percent.”

The research is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: December 3, 2012