Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Say Breast Cancer In Africa May Provide Clues To The Disease In African-Americans

Date:
April 10, 2005
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
A new review finds similarities between the clinical presentation and course of breast cancer in Africans and African-Americans, suggesting that genetic factors may play a significant role in the racial differences encountered in the epidemiology of breast cancer in America.

A new review finds similarities between the clinical presentation and course of breast cancer in Africans and African-Americans, suggesting that genetic factors may play a significant role in the racial differences encountered in the epidemiology of breast cancer in America. The article, published in the April 15, 2005 issue of CANCER (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer-newsroom), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, also observes that Africa faces potential increases in breast cancer rates as African women adopt Western reproductive and dietary behaviors that have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Population studies show while African American women have lower rates of breast cancer than white women in the United States, they have poorer outcomes. African American women are also more likely to get breast cancer at a younger age, and among women in the U.S. under the age of 45, African Americans have the highest incidence rates. African Americans are also more likely to be diagnosed with higher stage disease – i.e., estrogen receptor-negative, high-grade tumors that are node-positive. This clinical pattern is similar to that identified in the Ashkenazi populations that led to the discovery of BRCA-1 and -2 gene mutations, prompting many scientists to speculate that there may also be a genetic component contributing to breast cancer in African Americans.

Alero Fregene, M.D. and Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H. of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted an extensive literature review of English-language studies of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa. They say understanding the breast cancer burden and clinical characteristics in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of African American trace their ancestry from, may contribute to the understanding of racial factors in breast cancer.

The review found current literature, while incomplete, particularly in tumor biology, genetics, and inheritance patterns, does demonstrate epidemiological and clinical similarities between Africans and African Americans. African women are diagnosed most often between 35 and 45 years, and more than fifteen years earlier than women in Europe and North America. The mortality rate seen among women in sub-Saharan Africa is disproportionately high compared to the incident rate, as in African American women. Their tumors tend to be very aggressive with short periods of time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Moreover, the tumors at diagnosis also tend to be higher grade, often involving axillary lymph nodes and, therefore, higher stages disease with worse prognoses. Poor prognosis is compounded by resource poor healthcare infrastructure, which offers limited treatment options and underutilizes effective treatments.

Still, the incidence of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa is small at 20 per 100,000 compared to 90 per 100,000 people in the West. The reason for this geographic disparity has much to do with protective behaviors that inadvertently minimize estrogen exposure, such as reproductive patterns, body build, and dietary patterns. The authors say as Africans adopt Western lifestyles, these protective behaviors are expected to be replaced with known risk factors for breast cancer.

The authors conclude, "The parallels between African American and Sub-Saharan African breast cancer patients suggests the possible effects of hereditary factors, and these influences may cause the younger age distribution that is seen among these patient populations to persist."

###

Article: "Breast Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Does It Relate to Breast Cancer in African-American Women?," Alero Fregene, Lisa A. Newman, CANCER; Published Online: March 14, 2005 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.20978); Print Issue Date: April 15, 2005.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Researchers Say Breast Cancer In Africa May Provide Clues To The Disease In African-Americans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050326093104.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2005, April 10). Researchers Say Breast Cancer In Africa May Provide Clues To The Disease In African-Americans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050326093104.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Researchers Say Breast Cancer In Africa May Provide Clues To The Disease In African-Americans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050326093104.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins