African American Women and Uterine / Endometrial Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, Black women have the highest death rate and shortest survival rate as compared to other races/ethnicities in the United States for most cancers. This is in part due to socioeconomic barriers that restrict these women's access to timely, appropriate, and high quality health care, and also to more aggressive histology of this cancer found in African American women.

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer at a later stage and with more aggressive subtypes.

  • African American women are three times more likely to have an unfavoralble subtype and an associated five-year survival rate that is 40-50% less among women with and endometrioid subtype

  • 41% of uterine cancers in black women are found to have spread to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, organs, or distant parts of the body compared to 27% in white women

  • 23% of African American women are more likely to have uterine sarcomas compared to 9% of white women, 3% more likely to have clear cell carcinomas vs. 2% for white women, and 12% to have serous carcinomas vs. 5% for white women

  • Studies have also found that 27% of African Americans present with Stage III or IV disease, while only 14% of white women do

  • The five-year survival rate for uterine cancer is 62% in black women compared to 83% in white women

  • Five-year mortality rate is 39% among black women compared with 20% among white women

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Informational Videos

What Black Women Neet to Know About Endometrial Cancer

Recognizing the Symptoms of

Endometrial Cancer

How to be your own Advocate and

what questions to ask

  • What is uterine cancer?

  • What causes uterine cancer?

  • What are the symptoms of uterine cancer?

  • What type of doctor should I see if I think I might have uterine cancer?

  • What type of uterine cancer do I have?

  • What is the stage and grade of my uterine cancer?

  • What is my expected prognosis?

  • Has my cancer spread to other locations outside my uterus?

  • What treatment do you recommend for me and why?

  • What are the goals of treatment? Is it to eliminate the cancer or to make me feel better?

  • How long will treatment take?

  • What side effects can I expect to feel from my treatment?

  • Will I be able to have children after my treatment?

  • Can my cancer still return even after treatment?

  • How can I preserve my quality of life while undergoing treatment?

  • What should I know about clinical trials?

  • Where can I go for more information about clinical trials?

  • What support services are available to me and my family?

  • Should other women in my family be tested regularly for uterine cancer?

  • Are there any brochures or other printed material I can take home with me?

  • With whom may I speak about my financial and insurance concerns?

  • Questions of Your Own!

Resources

Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans (ECANA) - a group of women who have come together to create support, community, and empowerment for any African-American woman affected by endometrial cancer.

Uterine Cancer Support Group for Women of African Descent - meets virtually the 2nd Monday of every month from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm MT. Hosted by SHARE Cancer Support.

References: 

1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2019-2021. (2019). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf

2. Long, B., Liu, F. W., & Bristow, R. E. (2013). Disparities in uterine cancer epidemiology, treatment, and survival among African Americans in the United States. Gynecologic oncology, 130(3), 652–659. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.05.020