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AACR: Racial Disparity Seen in Breast Cancer Decline

Incidence rate decline only seen for estrogen-receptor positive and small tumors among whites

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- White women were the only beneficiaries of the sharp decline in the breast cancer incidence rate observed between 2002 and 2003, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego.

Dezheng Huo, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and a colleague conducted a search of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database and utilized data from 17 cancer registries of the U.S. population for the years 2000-2004.

The researchers found that sharp declines in the incidence of estrogen-receptor positive tumors and small tumors occurred among non-Hispanic white women, but not among other racial and ethnic groups. They also found that there was no change in the breast cancer incidence rate among black women.

"Discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy may be an important explanation but other causes cannot be ruled out," the authors conclude. "Uptake of mammographic screening programs and genetic variations in estrogen and progesterone metabolism may play a role."


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