Breast cancer data analyzed by race/ethnic groups to identify differences in diagnosis, prognosis

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in the journal JAMA, researchers from Women's College Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, have found that race and ethnicity may play a role in the timing of breast cancer diagnosis and the prognosis of the woman's disease.

For the study, researchers sought to investigate whether biological differences in tumor aggressiveness affect differences in early-stage breast cancer diagnosis by ethnicity and race.

They identified 373,563 women diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database between 2004 and 2011. Women were followed for an average of 40.6 months. Researchers then categorized those women based on race and ethnicity and assessed the biological aggressiveness of the tumors.

They also assessed timing of diagnosis and prognosis based on race/ethnic group. Results showed that Japanese women were more likely to be diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women.

In addition, black and South Asian women were more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than non-Hispanic white women, and black women were more likely to die from stage 1 disease than non-Hispanic white women and South Asian women. Black women were also more likely to die from small-sized tumors than non-Hispanic white women.

When analyzing biological differences in tumor aggressiveness, they found that black women with small-sized tumors were more likely to have triple-negative disease and to present with local and distant metastases than non-Hispanic white women. The researchers note that socioeconomic factors and access to health care may also play a role.

Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk (Fact Sheet)
Race and ethnicity may play a role in the timing of breast cancer diagnosis and the prognosis of the woman's disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be around 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer - in which the cancer cells have spread beyond the breast ducts - diagnosed in the US this year and more than 40,000 deaths from the disease. Overall, white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women, although African American women are more likely to die from the disease.
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