Women from Ethnic Minorities at Greater Risk of Unfavourable Breast Cancer

Dawn O'Shea

June 08, 2021

Women from ethnic minorities in the UK are at greater risk of breast cancers with less favourable characteristics, even after allowing for age and other potential confounders, according to an analysis of data from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service.

The research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, also found that these differences are greater in older than younger women, and in the Black rather than South Asian ethnic groups.

The analysis used data on women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during 2013-2018. Multivariable logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) of less favourable tumour characteristics (high stage, high grade, ER negative, Her2 positive) by ethnicity (Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, and White) in younger (30-46 years) and older (53-70 years) women.

In 24,022 women aged 30-46 years at diagnosis, all ethnic minority groups apart from Indian women had significantly greater odds of certain less favourable tumour characteristics compared with white women in fully adjusted models.

In 92,555 women aged 53-70 years, all ethnic minorities had a significantly greater adjusted odds of several of the less favourable tumour characteristics.

These differences were most marked in Black African and Black Caribbean women.

The authors say further work is needed to understand what the drivers of these differences may be, and where these differences may impact outcomes and experience of the disease in different ethnic groups.

Gathani T, Reeves G, Broggio J, Barnes I. Ethnicity and the tumour characteristics of invasive breast cancer in over 116,500 women in England. Br J Cancer. 2021 May 26 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1038/s41416-021-01409-7. PMID: 34040176

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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