Racial/ethnic disparities in risk of breast cancer mortality by molecular subtype and stage at diagnosis

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Oct 15. doi: 10.1007/s10549-021-06311-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Previous research has found significant survival disparities between Black and White women among select stages and subtypes of breast cancer, however other racial/ethnic groups have been less well-studied. This study expands on previous research, examining differences in breast cancer-specific mortality across multiple racial and ethnic groups.

METHODS: Women diagnosed with a first primary invasive breast cancer between 2010 and 2016 who were 20-85 years of age at diagnosis were identified from 18 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries. Subtypes were defined by joint hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status. Cox proportional hazards models for each stage and subtype were fit, with non-Hispanic white women as the reference group. Effect modification by age at diagnosis (< 50, ≥ 50) was found and thus analyses were age-stratified.

RESULTS: After multivariable adjustment, younger Black women had greater risks of breast cancer-specific death for all stages of HR+/HER2-, and certain stages of HR+/HER2+ , TN, and HR-/HER2 + breast cancer. Asian/Pacific Islander women generally had a lower hazard of breast cancer-specific death. Older Hispanic White women had a lower hazard of breast cancer-specific death for stages I-III HR + /HER2- and stage II TN breast cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that different racial/ethnic groups experience different risks of breast cancer-specific mortality by stage and subtype. Efforts to address survival disparities should place additional focus on young Black women, as they experience meaningful disparities in breast cancer-specific mortality.

PMID:34651254 | DOI:10.1007/s10549-021-06311-7