Clin Surg | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Review Article | Open Access

Is Race a Prognostically Significant Factor in Survival Outcomes for Breast Cancer Among Caucasian and African-American Women?

David Ko*, Eleni Andreopoulou and Tracy-Ann Moo

Department of Biological Sciences, Weill Cornell Breast Center, USA

*Correspondance to: David Ko 

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Despite recent improvements in overall survival shared among patients of all races, disparities in breast cancer related survival between Caucasian and African-American women have widened due to disproportionate gains achieved by Caucasian women. The following review analyzes both early and contemporary literature for patterns in their findings of the extent to which clinical and socioeconomic drivers account for racially driven differences in outcome. The increased mortality rates for African-American patients relative to Caucasian counterparts are deconstructed into racial differences in prognostically significant variables. Both early and contemporary studies find that African-American patients present with high-risk clinical characteristics such as younger age, more advanced tumor stage, and unfavorable histology. Furthermore, census-tract data, and hospital records indicated African-American patients to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, and therefore prone to increased breast-cancer related mortality rates relative to Caucasian counterparts. Although minor differences in findings exist between early and recent literature, the overarching theme among studies focusing on data between 1946-1990 was the resolution of survival disparities by race after controlling for effects of racial discrepancies in a for mentioned parameters. Alternatively, following multivariate analyses adjusting for racial differences in clinical and socioeconomic variables, contemporary studies maintained persistent survival gaps between African American and Caucasian patients.


Ko D, Andreopoulou E, Moo T-A. Is Race a Prognostically Significant Factor in Survival Outcomes for Breast Cancer Among Caucasian and African- American Women? Clin Surg. 2016; 1: 1183.

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