In calculating a woman's risk of breast cancer, doctors have been using a formula that underestimates the risk the disease poses to black women, reports the Washington Post.
A growing body of evidence shows that while black women are less likely to get breast cancer than their white counterparts, when they do it tends to be deadlier and more aggressive.
More than 19,000 African-Americans are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and nearly 6,000 die of the disease. The formula, which was developed from studies on mostly white women, was recalibrated using data on black women by researchers at the National Cancer Institute. Experts hope the findings will prompt doctors and women to be more alert to signs of the disease and arrange for appropriate treatment quickly.