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Associate Professor of Surgery, Director, Breast Care Center, University of Michigan, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, 3308 CGC, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA. Explain the differences in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates between African-American and Caucasian- American women. Describe the patterns of breast cancer risk that are specific to African Americans, including age distribution and hormone receptor expression. Discuss the potential limitations of breast cancer risk assessment for African-American women. Access and take the CME test online and receive 1 hour of AMA PRA category 1 credit at CME.
Abstract African-American women face a lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer as compared to Caucasian-American women, yet they paradoxically face an increased breast cancer mortality hazard. An increased incidence rate for early-onset disease has also been documented.
This manuscript review summarizes the socioeconomic, environmental, genetic, and possible primary tumor biologic factors that may explain these disparities. Breast cancer incidence is lower in African-American than in Caucasian-American women, yet breast cancer mortality rates are paradoxically higher for African-American women . African-American than for Caucasian-American women, yet the SEER program population-based data have documented higher breast cancer mortality rates among the African-American community. Breast cancer incidence and mortality in African and Caucasian Americans. Although breast cancer risk clearly increases as a function of age, African-American women under the age of 45 years have a greater incidence of breast cancer than Caucasian-American women in this young age range.
These rates equalize during the fifth decade of life, and for women over the age of 50 years, incidence rates for Caucasian Americans surpass those for African Americans, resulting in an overall higher lifetime risk for the Caucasian Americans. Age-incidence curves for breast cancer in African-American and Caucasian-American women. It has been reported that the crossover in breast cancer age incidence between African-American and Caucasian-American women is a relatively recent phenomenon that evolved over the 1960s . A sudden shift in age distribution is difficult to explain, making the accuracy of this observation dubious.