Black and younger women face elevated risks of developing breast cancers that are not only aggressive but also less responsive to treatment, a new study confirms.
Researchers found that non-Hispanic black women were more than twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with so-called triple-negative breast cancers, while women under 40 were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with the aggressive cancer as those aged 50 to 64, according to the study published in Cancer.
Noting that few previous studies had looked beyond the scope of a single state, Scott and her colleagues turned to the U.S. Cancer Statistics database, a population-based surveillance system of cancer registries with data that represents 99% of the U.S. population. The researchers identified 1.15 million cases of breast cancer between 2010 and 2014 in women from 39 states, including 96,749 cases (8.4%) of triple-negative cancer.
Analyzing the data, the team found that non-Hispanic black women were 2.27 times more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. Women under 40 were 1.95 times more likely than women aged 50 to 64 to be diagnosed with the aggressive cancer.
The study confirms what cancer specialists have been seeing, said Dr. Vikram Gorantla, a medical oncologist at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. Some of the increased risk in younger women can be tied to the BRCA1 gene, Gorantla said. “Besides BRCA1, we don’t have a clear cause for it in these women,” he added.
Dr. Charles Shapiro was struck by the size of the study. “This is one of the larger, if not the largest, so far,” said Shapiro, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine, director of Cancer Survivorship and medical director of Translational Breast Cancer Research at Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute in New York City. “Another striking thing is triple-negative breast cancer was thought to be 15% of the total but this study found it was 8.4%.”(source)
“Breast cancer survival is at its greatest level ever and, with better screening, a main focus of the long-term NHS plan, cancers will be diagnosed sooner,”
Tranding Tweets on Aggressive breast cancers more likely to hit black and younger women-
— Seenso Health (@SeensoHealth) July 9, 2019