Breast cancer epidemiology in blacks and whites: disparities in incidence, mortality, survival rates and histology. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study presents black-white breast cancer statistics, tumor histology and receptor status, and treatment patterns for all ages and by age groups (< 40, 40-49, and > or = 50).The study used data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program for the time period 1995-2004. Age-adjusted incidence, mortality, relative survival rates, tumor grade, histology and receptor status, and treatment patterns for invasive breast cancer were calculated for nine SEER cancer registries for 1995-2004.Invasive breast cancer age-adjusted incidence for black women age < 40 was significantly higher than those for white women (rate ratio = 1.16, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-1.23). Age-adjusted mortality rate for black women age < 40 was twice that for white women. Compared to white women, black women were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with regional or distant disease, have lower relative five-year survival rate and have higher likelihood of being diagnosed with tumors with poorer prognosis. Black women were less likely to receive breast cancer surgery as part of the treatment plan.Race/ethnic disparities in invasive breast cancer epidemiology, prognostic indicators and treatment patterns exist between black and white women. The study findings support the need for innovative research, especially on the multifaceted determinants of the differential epidemiology of breast cancer. Equally important, there is a need for evidence-guided equal delivery of quality care to eliminate breast cancer disparities among black women.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008