February 5. 2015 – Breast Cancer and Ethnicity


Anchor lead:  There really are differences in breast cancer diagnosis and course depending on ethnicity, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Women of different ethnicities are first diagnosed at different stages of breast cancer, and even when they all have stage one, more African American women die of their disease than either white or Asian women, a recent study found.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Nelson: About 50.8% of white women were diagnosed at this stage, 56% of Japanese American women were diagnosed, but only 37% of African American women.  After these women were diagnosed the ones with stage one breast cancer looked at seven years and found out what the outcomes were, about 3% of white women with this breast cancer at seven years were found to have died of breast cancer, about 1.7% of Asian women but about 6.2% of African American women.   :29

Nelson says accounting for these differences, whether social or biological factors are at play, will help.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.