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Race, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity were found to have various impacts on breast cancer outcomes in this large, population-based retrospective study.

Race and ethnicity, along with socioeconomic outcomes, have various impacts on cancer outcomes and incidence. This study, published in the American Journal of Surgery, looked at the way that these factors affect the outcomes of patients with breast cancer. The authors performed a retrospective analysis of Non-Hispanic Black, Non-Hispanic White, and Hispanic patients with non-metastatic breast cancer. Data were gathered from the SEER cancer registry between 2007 and 2016.

Breast Cancer Outcomes Found to Vary Among Different Racial Groups

Data from a total of 382,975 patients were used for this study. A multivariate analysis was conducted, which revealed that Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic patients were more likely to present with a higher-stage disease when compared to their Non-Hispanic White counterparts. These patients also showed an increased likelihood of not undergoing breast reconstruction. Non-Hispanic Black patients showed an increased hazard for all-cause mortality, and all-cause mortality was also found to increase across all socioeconomic categories for this population group.

Socioeconomic Factors May Partially Explain the Racial Disparity

A higher proportion of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black patients were in a lower socioeconomic status when compared to White patients, at 39.3% for Hispanic, 56.2% for Non-Hispanic Black, and 20.5% for Non-Hispanic White patients. Additionally, more Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black patients had no insurance, a higher cancer stage presentation, and lower rates of surgery and radiation therapy when compared to Non-Hispanic White patients. This lack of access to care may go a long way toward explaining the disparities in outcomes that these groups face. 

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Azin, A., Tahmasebi, H., Brar, A., Azin, S., Ko, G., Covelli, A., & Cil, T. (2023). Racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and survival of patients with breast cancer. American Journal of Surgery, 225(1), 154-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.07.003