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African American Women Have Higher Risk For An Aggressive Type Of Breast Cancer.

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According to a new study, African American women have higher risk for a more aggressive and harder-to- treat type of mammogrambreast cancer. The study was carried out by doctors from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. They were checking breast cancer risks among three groups of patients, African-American women, white women and African women. The study was published online in the July 13 issue of journal Cancer.

They mentioned that more than 25% of the African-American women having breast cancer were suffering what is called "triple negative" type of the disease. This type refers to three of the affected hormone receptors that sometimes are targeted for treatment. When comparing data of the three groups, it was found that 16% of white women having breast cancer had this very aggressive type of breast cancer. However, the African women showed the highest percent, 82%, between the three groups. This study confirms previous findings which say that generally, black women are having lower risk for breast cancer. However, when the disease takes place, it develops in earlier ages and shows a very aggressive and deadly form. Dr. Lisa A. Newman, director of the Breast Care Center at the cancer center, the lead author of the study, said in a press release "The most significant recent advances in breast cancer treatment have involved targeting these three receptors," she continued "But these treatments do not help women with triple-negative breast cancer. Outcome disparities are therefore likely to increase, because fewer African-American women are candidates for these newer treatments."

Data from the American Cancer Society reports that about 200,000 women in the U.S are going to develop breast cancer in 2010, 41,000 of them will eventually die from the disease. In their study, researchers reviewed data of nearly 600 black women and more than 1,000 white women. These patients were treated for breast cancer at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. The study also involved 75 breast cancer patients from Ghana. Dr. Newman commented "African ancestry might be associated with other links to hereditary predisposition for particular patterns of breast cancer," she continued "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."


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