Florida Breast Cancer Foundation

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Effect of Race/Ethnicity

 Cancer occurrence and survival is influenced by economic, social, and cultural factors, as well as biological and inherited differences.

Incidence and death rates from breast cancer are lower among women of other racial and ethnic groups than among white and African American women.

The following figures show the female breast cancer incidence and mortality rates by race and ethnicity, age-adjusted per 100,000 persons:
 

 

White

African American

 Hispanic

American Indian
and Alaska Native

Asian American
and Pac
ific Islander

Incidence

132.5 

118.3 

89.3

69.8

89.0

Mortality

25.0

33.8 

16.1 

16.1 

12.6

  


African Americans

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among African American women.
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among African American women, surpassed only by lung cancer.
  • The incidence of breast cancer is lower in African American women than in white women. Nevertheless, the mortality rate is higher compared to white women.
  • Factors that contribute to the higher death rates among African American women include differences in access to and utilization of early detection and treatment, risk factors that are differentially distributed by race or socioeconomic status, or biologic differences associated with race. In addition, there is evidence that aggressive tumor characteristics are more common in African American women than in white women.
  • Breast cancer death rates among African American women declined after 1991. However, the decrease was larger in women under age 50 than in women 50 and older. The steady decline in female breast cancer mortality has been attributed to improvements in both early detection and treatment.
  • An estimated 19,010 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among African American women.
  • An estimated 5,830 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among African American women.

 


Hispanics

  • A Hispanic woman living in the United States has a 9.23% or 1 in 11 probability of developing invasive breast cancer sometime during her life.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women.
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. In contrast, the leading cause of cancer death in non-Hispanic women is lung cancer.
  • Breast cancer death rates among Hispanic women have declined, similar to the decrease seen in non-Hispanic white women.
  • The breast cancer incidence rate in Hispanic women is about 40% lower than that of non-Hispanic white women. Nevertheless, Hispanic women are about 20% more likely to die of breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women diagnosed at similar age and stage. Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with larger breast tumors than non-Hispanic white women. Differences in mammography utilization and delayed follow-up of abnormal screening results may contribute to this difference.
  • An estimated 14,300 Hispanic women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • An estimated 1,740 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among Hispanic women.