Women of color and young women may face elevated risks of developing triple-negative breast cancers, a type of cancer that spreads more quickly than most other types and doesn’t respond well to hormone or targeted therapies, a study published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, shows.
Previous U.S. studies have found racial disparities in triple-negative breast cancer diagnoses, but few have looked beyond the scope of one state. To conduct a larger study, researchers in the Georgia State University School of Public Health analyzed all breast cancer cases diagnosed during 2010–14 from the United States Cancer Statistics database, a surveillance system of cancer registries with data representing 99 percent of the U.S. population.
The team identified more than 1.15 million cases of breast cancer, with triple-negative cases accounting for about 8.4 percent of all cases. The researchers uncovered a significant incidence of triple-negative breast cancer for women of color, specifically non-Hispanic black women, and for younger women.
Compared with non-Hispanic white women, non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women had higher odds of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, respectively. More than 21 percent of non-Hispanic black women were diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, compared with less than 11 percent for all other types of breast cancer. Women younger than 40 years of age had twice the odds of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than women aged 50–64 years.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 02