Blacks Have Higher Breast Cancer Risk

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 26 (UPI) — Women with African ancestry have more risk of triple-negative breast cancer — a more aggressive type cancer with few therapy options, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Lisa Newman of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor explains this harder-to-treat triple negative cancer is negative for three specific biomarkers — each linked to higher aggressiveness and used to determine treatment — the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor and the HER-2/neu receptor.


“The most significant recent advances in breast cancer treatment have involved targeting these three receptors,” Newman, the study co-author, in a statement. “We hope that by studying breast cancer in African and African-American women we can identify biomarkers that might be useful for assessing risk or treating triple-negative breast cancer.”

The study, published in Cancer, finds women in Ghana are more likely than American women to test negative for each of the three markers. Among women with breast cancer the largest percentage testing triple negative were the African women — 82 percent — followed by African-American women — 26 percent — and white American women — 16 percent.

Newman and colleagues looked at 75 African women diagnosed at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana, as well as 581 African-American women and 1,008 white women diagnosed with breast cancer at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

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