Indian and Pakistani Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at Earlier Age

Indian and Pakistani women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more aggressive forms of breast cancer, at an early age, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers compared characteristics of breast cancer in Indian- and Pakistani-American and non-Hispanic white women in the United States using data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program. They reviewed incidence data among Indian and Pakistani women between 1990 and 2014, as well disease characteristics, treatment and survival data between 2000 and 2016 for 4,900 Indian and Pakistani women and 482,250 non-Hispanic white women with breast cancer.

They found that the occurrence of breast cancer in Indian and Pakistani women was lower than in non-Hispanic white women; however, the number of Indian and Pakistani women diagnosed with breast cancer increased over the years.

According to the results, Indian and Pakistani women with breast cancer were more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and at more advanced stages of the disease. Moroever, they received more subcutaneous or total mastectomies than non-Hispanic white women. While the researchers found that Indian and Pakistani women were less likely to die of breast cancer than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, their health was tracked for a shorter time, the researchers noted.

 

“Our results provide an insight into breast cancer in Indian and Pakistani women, suggesting several hypotheses to guide future scientific studies to better understand the risk factors influencing disease etiology and prognosis,” said Jaya M. Satagopan, lead author and director of the Center for South Asian Quantitative Health and Education at the Rutgers School of Public Health via a press release about the study.