-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, May 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Black women are nearly
twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with a hard-to-treat
breast cancer known as triple-negative breast cancer, a new study
That dramatic difference was found no matter what their
socioeconomic level was, the researchers added.
"The excess odds of triple-negative breast cancer in blacks compared to whites were remarkably similar, about 80 percent higher, in each socioeconomic group," study author Dr. Helmneh Sineshaw said in a news release from American Cancer Society.
"That consistent increase suggests factors other than differences in socioeconomic status play a strong role in the excess odds seen in black women. Further studies are needed to identify those factors," added Sineshaw, who is a senior epidemiologist and health services researcher at the American Cancer Society.
Triple-negative breast cancer is a type of breast cancer that
doesn't have receptors for the hormones estrogen or progesterone.
This type of cancer also doesn't have too much of another hormone
-- called HER2 -- on the surface of the cancer cell, according to
the American Cancer Society.
Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow and spread more
quickly than other types of breast cancers. And, because many
breast cancer treatments target hormones, this type of cancer has
fewer treatment options.
Previous research has found that black and Hispanic women were
more likely than whites to develop triple-negative breast cancer,
and some of the studies suggested that this could be due to
differences in wealth.
In this new study, researchers analyzed data from more than
260,000 breast cancer cases, and found that poor women had higher
rates of triple-negative breast cancer.
However, when the researchers adjusted the data to account for
factors such as income, black women were still 1.84 times more
likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than
white women. The findings were recently published online in the
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
The researchers also found that Asian/Pacific Islanders were
more likely than whites to develop a type of breast cancer known as
HER2-overexpressing breast cancer, and that this difference was
also seen at all socioeconomic levels.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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