What is known is that women with breast cancer are at increased risk of a second malignancy (SM). What until recently was not known was the role race and hormone receptor (HR) status play in that SM. In a recently published article in SpringerPlus, co-authors RMCC medical oncologist Dr. Sami Diab and genetic counselors Barbara Hamlington and Laura Brzeskiewicz report that clinical and biological differences between Caucasian and African American women do indeed impact the risk of disease recurrence. The study found that African American women with breast cancer are more likely to be younger at diagnosis, carry hormone receptor (HR)-negative breast cancer, present with more advanced stage at diagnosis and have higher rates of BRCA1/2 mutations, all factors that can increase their risk of breast cancer recurrence and non-breast second malignancy.
“This is the first detailed report,” said Dr. Diab, “demonstrating an increased risk of second malignancy in patients with primary breast cancer based on race and HR status of cancer. The results deserve further evaluation to understand the biological and clinical basis for this increased risk.” Study data also showed that black women are under-represented in studies evaluating inherited cancer syndromes and would likely benefit from more genetic evaluation and counseling after a primary breast cancer diagnosis.
The article “Impact of race and tumor subtype on second malignancy risk in women with breast cancer is published in SpringerPlus, a peer-reviewed, fully open access journal that publishes scientific research in all areas of science.