The ethnic side of breast cancer

Since the month of October is breast cancer awareness. I will post an article I wrote, while was I at Oral Roberts University.

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer. The American Cancer Society says breast cancer leads in death for American women.

When looking at the ethnic side of breast cancer. Doctors diagnose more Caucasian women with breast cancer, than any other race. While African American women under the age of 40, have a higher incidence of breast cancer.

Another ethnic group is the Hispanic/Latina they have a lower rate of cancer. Like African-American women they also have chance of having large tumors and are already in advanced stages of breast cancer.

When Asian women leave their home country and migrate to the United States, their risk for breast cancer increases. That Susan G. Komen website says their risk increases up to six times. Asian women living in the United States more than a decade has an 80 percent higher risk than any other Asian immigrants.

Statistically, Caucasian women have an increased risk for breast cancer. African American women increase their chances for dying from breast cancer. Hispanic women are also likely to die from breast cancer, than their Caucasian counterparts.

The reason African-American women are usually found with aggressive type tumors because of poorer prognosis. The ethnic differences between the races continues with the percentage of aggressive type tumors, for Caucasian women have 16 percentage, while for African-American women the percentage is 82 percent.

The problem with the breast cancer is that certain ethnic groups that do not to receive the proper screening; therefore the breast cancer is diagnosed at later stages. Since they are diagnosed later, they are more likely to die.

African-American women in general have a low occurrence of breast cancer, but when it happens they get the disease at an earlier age and with a deadly outcome.

The deadly side of breast cancer is that all other ethnic groups survive five years after their diagnosis except African-American women. Susan G.Komen compares the five- year survival rate of racial ethnic groups.

  • Caucasian women 91%.
  • African American women 79%
  • Hispanic/Latina women 86%.
  • Asian women 91%.
  • Pacific Islander women 86 %
  • American Indian/Alaska Native women 84%

These are disturbing statistics on how each ethnic group survives after being diagnosed. On a positive note, reports there at least 2,500,000 breast cancer survivors in the United States.

This is why so many breast cancer advocates stress the importance of early screening. Early screening would lower the mortality rate for all racial groups.

Medical researchers are looking at the genetics of African and African-American ancestry for biomarkers that indicate certain patterns of breast cancer. They hope by studying the hereditary of the African ancestry the will be able understand why women from this ethnic group have such an aggressive type of cancer.

Susan G.Komen for the cure “Facts of Life –Racial & Differences “

28 September 2010. 16 November 2010

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