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Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Varies by Birthplace for Black Women

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 -- Among black women in the United States, the prevalence of triple-negative breast cancer varies by birthplace, according to a study published online June 13 in Cancer.

Hyuna Sung, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues identified 65,211 non-Hispanic black women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 2010 through 2015 and were recorded as being born in the United States, East Africa, West Africa, or the Caribbean. For each group of foreign-born black women, the prevalence of triple-negative and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer was compared to that among U.S.-born black women, and after adjustment for sociodemographic and tumor characteristics, prevalence was expressed as the adjusted prevalence rate ratio.

The researchers found that the prevalence rate ratio of triple-negative breast cancer was 0.92 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.04), 0.87 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.78 to 0.98), and 0.53 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.77) among West African-born, Caribbean-born, and East African-born black women, respectively, compared with U.S.-born black women. For hormone-negative tumors, the patterns were generally similar, although the differences between the populations were attenuated.

"The current study signifies the importance of considering geographic origin in studying breast cancer subtypes among women of African descent in the United States and elsewhere," the authors write. "Presenting breast tumor subtype in black women as a single category is not reflective of the diverse black populations in the nation."

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Posted: June 2019

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