Study: Breast cancer hits African American women harder than Caucasians

A startling new study shows African American women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than Caucasian women.

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It’s October, so bring on the pink merchandise and ribbons and let’s talk breast cancer awareness!

A startling new study shows African American women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than Caucasian women.

The study is shocking, but survivors say more can be done.

Giuliana Rancic and Tracey Stills are two different women with two different lives, but one thing connects them and that's that they are both survivors of breast cancer. 

“Breast cancer is one of those diseases that if found early, you have an over 90 percent survival rate, but the key is you have to find it early," said TV personality Giuliana Rancic.

FOX 32 met up with Fashion Police star Giuliana Rancic at an event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“You come into a P.F. Changs here and you see the big iconic warrior horses with a pink ribbon on during the month of October, and it kind of reminds you it is breast cancer awareness month, am I doing an exam?" she said.

Rancic is a survivor of breast cancer.

Tracey Stills is also a survivor of the disease, 13 years strong.

“There's not a day that goes by, I’m not extremely grateful," said Stills.

She also said the new study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology is troubling.

Researchers found African American women are more likely to die than Caucasian women from breast cancer because they develop more aggressive tumors.

Stills now works with cancer patients at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and believes the study is linked to the culture of African American women and being afraid of the unknown.

“Where are my sisters?” she remembers asking when she was diagnosed. “Are we just getting this disease and are we just dying or we are not talking about it?”

Stills believes the culture doesn't talk about the disease, so there's less sharing of critical information that could save a life.

"There's no reason to be alone, and you don't have to die from it, I am proof positive, death doesn't have to be the answer," said Stills.

So, what can you do?

If you are a woman don't forget to do your monthly self-exams.

Stills said no matter your race, don't be afraid to ask for help.

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