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Black Patients More Likely to Die From Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Higher mortality risk partially explained by disparities in Black patients’ receipt of surgery and chemotherapy

THURSDAY, May 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — African American women with nonmetastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have a significantly higher risk for breast cancer mortality versus White patients, according to a study published online May 13 in JAMA Oncology.

Beomyoung Cho, Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results dataset to identify 23,213 women (25.3 percent African American and 74.7 percent White) who received a diagnosis of nonmetastatic TNBC in 2010 through 2015 with follow-up through 2016.

The researchers found that compared with White patients, African American patients had lower odds of receiving surgery (odds ratio [OR], 0.69) and chemotherapy (OR, 0.89) after adjusting for sociodemographic, clinicopathologic, and county-level factors. During the 43 months of follow-up, 14.2 percent of patients died of breast cancer, with a higher risk for breast cancer mortality seen among African American patients in an adjusted analysis (hazard ratio, 1.28). The hazard ratio dropped to 1.16 with further adjustment for clinicopathological and treatment factors. Higher risk remained for patients living in socioeconomically less deprived counties (HR, 1.26), urban patients (HR, 1.21), patients having stage II (HR, 1.19) or III (HR, 1.15) tumors that were treated with chemotherapy, and patients younger than 65 years (HR, 1.24).

“The risk of death of breast cancer remained significantly higher in African American women compared with White women after adjustment for demographic, health insurance, neighborhood, clinicopathological, and treatment factors,” the authors write.

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