Breast Cancer in African-American and Hispanic Women

Recent studies suggest that the incidence of breast cancer among African-American and Hispanic women is lower than the incidence among non-Hispanic white women – but that a higher proportion of African-American and Hispanic women who develop breast cancer do so at a younger age (under 50).

Both African-American and Hispanic women diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely than non-Hispanic white women to die from their disease. This difference in survival rates is due, in part, to African-American and Hispanic women undergoing fewer screening mammograms than white women, which means that their cancers are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, when treatment is more difficult and survival rates are lower. The difference in survival also appears to reflect a tendency for African-American and Hispanic women to have more aggressive molecular subtypes of breast cancer, such as triple-negative breast cancer – cancer that does not have receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER2-neu.

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