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Dr. Michael Omidi, MD Looks at Disparity in Breast Cancer Survival

Previous studies have shown that there is a significant racial disparity when it comes to survival through breast cancer, but here Dr. Michael Omidi, MD discusses the most up to date information regarding this serious issue.

This is Dr. Michael Omidi, MD and as Breast Cancer Awareness month ends I wanted to briefly discuss this finding that shows a significant disparity among women when it comes to surviving breast cancer. At the Harvard School of Public Health a study has shown that non-Hispanic black women are more susceptible to dying from breast cancer as compared to white women following diagnosis.

The study involved almost 20,000 women that received treatment for breast cancer in stages one through three from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2007. The study specifically looked at deaths caused by breast cancer among 16,000 white women (non-Hispanic), 1,500 black women (non-Hispanic), about 1,300 Hispanic women, and about 650 Asian women.

Patients received follow-ups for about seven years and through those follow-ups it was determined that non-Hispanic black women were at a higher risk of death three years after diagnosis by 50%. This risk was even higher for black women that had estrogen-receptor-positive type breast cancer and was higher as well amongst those with luminal A and luminal B subtypes. Typcially these types of tumors are more treatable. Once the initial three-year period had concluded, however, the risk of dying decreased to 34% for black women.

Also found in the study was that Asian women had a higher survival rate than white women amongst all types of breast cancers by about 40%. Between Hispanic women and white women there was no significant distinction in risk.

The only significant findings that the study reported as to why black women may be at a higher risk of death were body mass index, specifically when BMI was above 25 and 30, and that black women tended to be diagnosed at a later stage. Differences in treatment and other disparities were accounted for in the study and yet the same conclusions continued to present.

Almost one-quarter of a million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the end of the year and near 40,000 are expected to die as a result of breast cancer. For more information on early-prevention options you can visit this section of the American Cancer Society website.

By

Michael Omidi, MD

Source:

Jaslow, Ryan. “Black Women with Breast Cancer More Likely to Die within 3 Years of Diagnosis.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57542988/black-women-with-breast-cancer-more-likely-to-die-within-3-years-of-diagnosis/>.

 

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