Women in certain racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced breast cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Lu Chen and Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, used data from 18 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries to identify 102,064 women aged 20 years and older diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2010 to 2011.

They examined correlations between race/ethnicity and cancer stage and receipt of guideline-concordant treatment according to hormone receptor/HER2 status.

Continue Reading

The researchers found that compared with non-Hispanic whites, African-American and Hispanic women were 30 to 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with stage II to IV breast cancer.

Across all four breast cancer subtypes, the risks of stage IV breast cancer were 40 to 70 percent higher for African-American women. The risk of stage IV triple-negative breast cancer was 3.9-fold higher for American Indian/Alaska Native women.

RELATED: For Node-Positive Breast Cancer, EC-T Remains Standard Adjuvant Regimen

Overall and across subtypes, African-American and Hispanic whites were 30 to 40 percent more likely to receive non-guideline-concordant treatment for breast cancer.

“Continued efforts, especially targeted, culturally appropriate interventions, to address these disparities across different subtypes of breast cancer have the potential to reduce these long-standing disparities and hopefully close the existing survival gaps,” the authors write.


  1. Chen L, Li CI, et al. Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment by Hormone Receptor and HER2 Status. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. [published online ahead of print October 13, 2015]. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0293.