More black women die of breast cancer

accreditation
iStock

Black breast cancer patients are more likely to die than white patients, regardless of the type of cancer, according to a new study.

This suggests that the lower survival rate among black patients is not solely because they are more often diagnosed with less treatable types of breast cancer, the researchers said.

For more than six years, the researchers followed nearly 1 700 breast cancer patients who had been treated for luminal A, luminal B, basal-like or HER2-enriched breast cancer subtypes. During that period, about 500 of the patients had died, nearly 300 of them from breast cancer.

Lower survival rates

Black patients were nearly twice as likely as white patients to have died from breast cancer. The researchers also found that black patients were less likely than white patients to be diagnosed with either the luminal A or luminal B breast cancer subtypes.

"African-Americans were more likely to have the hard-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer subtype and had a lower likelihood of having the luminal A subtype, which tends to be the most treatable subtype of breast cancer and has the best prognosis," study author Candyce Kroenke, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente, said in an association news release.

Kroenke and her colleagues found, however, that lower survival among black patients was consistent across breast cancer subtypes. Black patients were 2.3 times more likely to die from the luminal A breast cancer subtype compared with white patients, 2.6 times more likely to die from the luminal B subtype, 1.3 times more likely to die from the basal-like subtype and 2.4 times more likely to die from the HER2-enriched subtype.

"African-Americans with breast cancer appeared to have a poorer prognosis regardless of subtype," Kroenke said. "It seems from our data that the black/white breast cancer survival difference cannot be explained entirely by variable breast cancer subtype diagnosis."

The study is scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, which is taking place April 6 to 10 in Washington, DC Data and conclusions presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The US National Cancer Institute has more about breast cancer.

(Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.) 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 509 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 6241 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 816 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.84
+1.3%
Rand - Pound
20.20
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.54
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.63
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.2%
Gold
1,699.36
+2.3%
Silver
20.69
+8.7%
Palladium
2,225.50
+2.7%
Platinum
904.00
+4.6%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,850
+0.8%
All Share
64,227
+0.8%
Resource 10
61,646
+2.3%
Industrial 25
77,524
+0.2%
Financial 15
13,816
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE