Black Women Face Increased Risk Of Triple Negative Breast Cancers

Breast Cancer Awareness

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Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have released a study that examines the threat of triple-negative breast cancers. After analyzing nearly 200,000 patients who received mammograms from 2006 to 2015, researchers concluded that Black women had "nearly a three-fold increased risk of triple-negative breast cancers."

"While it is known that Black women have a higher risk of this type of breast cancer, the magnitude of the risk found in this study was impactful, given its comprehensive adjustment for breast cancer risk factors in a screened population," a report from the University of Pennsylvania stated.

The Perelman School of Medicine's most recent report is backed by a study from the Washington University School of Medicine that was released in May. Researchers found that Black women with triple-negative breast cancer were 28% more likely to die than white women with the same illness.

“Regardless of subtypes of breast cancer, many studies have shown that African American patients have lower survival than white patients,” epidemiologist Ying Liu said.

If we want to eliminate these disparities, we must first identify what they are and work to understand what drives them.”

Digging deeper into the matter, Perelman School of Medicine researchers confirmed that triple-negative breast cancers often go undetected or are diagnosed as interval cancer instead. When researching potential risk factors connected to triple-negative breast cancer, breast density and obesity were found to be often tied to triple-negative breast cancers.

“The risk prediction models available are about 60 percent accurate for predicting risk of breast cancer,” Dr. Anne McCarthy of the University of Pennsylvania explained.

“In our studies, we see clear differences in risk factors across these types of breast cancers, and we need to do a better job of identifying how we can accurately predict risk for women, particularly for women of color.”

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