Black women and breast cancer awareness
A sign explains the high risk of breast cancer for African-American women at the fifth annual American Cancer Society 5K Walk to raise funds to fight breast cancer October 28, 2001 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


ATLANTA (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says black women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women are.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among American women, but the CDC’s Ileana Arias says black women have “unacceptably high” death rates. She says they have the “highest death rates from breast cancer among all racial and ethnic groups.”

Arias says many lives could be saved each year with proper screening and treatment, stressing the importance of educating black women to coverage provided by the new health care law, including mammograms without co-pays in many health plans.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.