Breast Cancer Risk Among Women with Family History Differs by Race

Breast Cancer Risk Among Women with Family History Differs by Race

Among women with a first-degree family history of breast cancer, the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is higher among White women than among African-American women. These results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Women with a family history of breast cancer are known to have an increased risk of developing breast cancer themselves. There is limited information, however, about the extent to which this risk varies by race. If risk does vary by race, it will be important for women with a family history of breast cancer to receive race-specific risk estimates when being counseled about breast cancer.

To explore the relationship between race and breast cancer risk among women with a family history of breast cancer, researchers evaluated the first-degree adult female relatives (mothers, sisters, and daughters) of 2,676 White breast cancer patients and 1,525 African-American breast cancer patients.

  • Among the first-degree relatives of the breast cancer patients, risk of developing breast cancer before the age of 40 was similar for White and African-American women.
  • After the age of 40, risk diverged. Among the first-degree relatives of the breast cancer patients, lifetime risk of breast cancer was 22.4% among White women and 14.5% among African-American women.
  • Risk of developing breast cancer increased with the number of affected first-degree relatives. Among women with more than one first-degree relative with breast cancer, the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer was 34.1% among White women and 16.9% among African-American women.

These results suggest that after age 40, risk of breast cancer among women with a family history of breast cancer is higher among White women than among African-American women. The researchers recommend using racially- and/or ethnically-specific risk estimates when counseling women about breast cancer risk.

Reference: Simon MS, Korczak JF, Yee CL et al. Breast Cancer Risk Estimates for Relatives of White and African American Women with Breast Cancer in the Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24:2498-2504.

Related News:

Copyright © 2018 CancerConnect. All Rights Reserved.

Comments