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Triple-Negative Breast Cancer More Common in Blacks

Survival lower in such cancer patients, who are more likely to be younger, black or Hispanic

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Breast tumors that are negative for the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) are more commonly found in younger women, blacks and Hispanics, and are associated with poorer survival, according to the results of a study published online March 26 in Cancer.

Katrina R. Bauer, M.S., of the Public Health Institute in Sacramento, Calif., and colleagues compared the characteristics of 6,370 women with ER-, PR- and HER2-negative breast cancer (triple-negative) with 44,704 women with other types of breast cancer. The data were obtained from the California Cancer Registry from 1999-2003.

The researchers found that triple-negative cancers were more common in women under 40 years of age (odds ratio, 1.53), non-Hispanic blacks (OR, 1.77) or Hispanics (OR, 1.23). Women with triple-negative cancers had poorer survival than women with other breast cancers, regardless of stage at diagnosis, with a five-year relative survival of 77 percent for triple-negative cancers compared with 93 percent for other breast cancers. Non-Hispanic black women diagnosed at a late stage had the lowest five-year relative survival at 14 percent, the report indicates.

"Triple-negative breast cancers affect younger, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women in areas of low socioeconomic status," Bauer and colleagues conclude. "The tumors were diagnosed at later stage and were more aggressive, and these women had poorer survival regardless of stage."

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