Nav: Home

Breast cancer becoming as common among African-American women as among white women

October 29, 2015

ATLANTA -October 29, 2015- Breast cancer rates among African American women in the United States have continued to increase, converging with rates among white women and closing a gap that had existed for decades. The finding is part of Breast Cancer Statistics, 2015, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and its accompanying consumer publication, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures.

Excluding skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women, accounting for nearly one in three cancers. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death among women after lung cancer. Approximately 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,290 deaths are expected among U.S. women in 2015.

From 2008 to 2012, breast cancer incidence rates increased in African American women (0.4% per year), and among Asian/Pacific Islanders (1.5% per year), while they remained stable among whites, Hispanics, and American Indian/Alaska Natives. In 2012, overall breast cancer incidence rates converged between blacks and whites as a result of increasing incidence rates in black women and stable rates in white women. Notably, rates were higher in blacks than whites in seven states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee). While the reason for rising incidence in African American women is not clear, the authors note that the increase in incidence has been driven by increases in ER positive breast cancers and may reflect rising rates of obesity.

Mortality rates continued to be higher in black women than in white women, despite historically lower incidence rates among black women. The black-white disparity in breast cancer death rates has increased over time; by 2012, death rates were 42% higher in black women than white women. The authors say that trend is likely to continue--at least in the near future--in view of the increasing trends in breast cancer incidence rates in black women.

Other findings from the report:
  • More than 3.1 million US women with a history of breast cancer were alive on January 1, 2014 (the most recent data available). Most of them were cancer-free, while others still had evidence of cancer and may have been undergoing treatment.

  • Breast cancer mortality rates have dropped 36% since 1989, which translates to 249,000 breast cancer deaths averted.

  • From 2003 through 2012, breast cancer death rates declined annually by 1.8% in whites, 1.5% in Hispanics, 1.4% in blacks, and 1.0% in Asian/Pacific Islanders, but remained unchanged among American Indians/Alaska Natives.

  • During 2003-2012, death rates declined significantly for white women in every state, but for black women in only 27 of 30 states with sufficient data to examine trends. In 3 states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) death rates were stable.

  • Black women have the highest breast cancer death rate of any racial/ethnic group. They are also more likely to be diagnosed at later stages and have the lowest survival at each stage of diagnosis. Reasons include lack of regular screening and/or follow up of suspicious results, lack of access to timely, high-quality treatment, and higher proportion of aggressive, harder to treat tumors.

  • The distribution of breast cancer subtypes varies by race/ethnicity. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancers, an aggressive breast cancer subtype linked to poorer survival.

  • In 2013, 69% of women 45 years of age and older reported having a mammogram within the past 2 years. Screening rates are lower for women who are uninsured or have lower educational attainment and for Hispanics and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

-end-
Article: Breast Cancer Statistics, 2015: Convergence of Incidence Rates Between Black and White Women, CA Cancer J Clin 2015;doi: 10.3322/caac.21320

Authors: Carol E. DeSantis, MPH; Stacey A. Fedewa, MPH; Ann Goding Sauer, MPSH; Joan L. Kramer, MD; Robert A. Smith, PhD; Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD

American Cancer Society

Related Breast Cancer Articles:

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.
Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.
More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.
Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.
Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.
Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.
Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.
Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
More Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.