Breast Cancer Subtypes Vary By Race, Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status

dr_Helmneh Interview with:
Helmneh Sineshaw, MD, MPH
Senior Epidemiologist, Health Services Researcher
American Cancer Society

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Sineshaw: We found that non-Hispanic black women had nearly twofold higher odds of being diagnosed with triple-negative (TN) breast cancer subtype than did their white counterparts, regardless of their socioeconomic group. We also found higher odds of presenting with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2(HER2)-overexpressing breast cancer in Asian/Pacific Islander women compared with white women at every level of socioeconomic status.

MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Sineshaw: The association between breast cancer subtypes with least favorable prognosis, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity is still not well defined. In this study, we estimated the odds of breast cancer subtypes in minority populations versus non-Hispanic whites stratified by socioeconomic status using a large national dataset to see how consistent the odds were across the different socioeconomic status ranges.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sineshaw: Breast cancer subtypes with least favorable prognosis are more likely in minority women regardless of their socioeconomic status. Clinicians as well as patients may want to consider this in order to better diagnose breast cancer subtypes with least favorable prognosis and administer proper treatments targeted to such subtypes.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sineshaw: We need to explore factors driving these higher odds of TN or HER2-overexpressing breast cancer subtypes in minority women other than socioeconomic status.


Association of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and breast cancer subtypes in the National Cancer Data Base (2010-2011).

Sineshaw HM1, Gaudet M, Ward EM, Flanders WD, Desantis C, Lin CC, Jemal A.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 May 3. [Epub ahead of print]



Last Updated on May 20, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD