Early breast cancer survival of black and white American women with equal diagnostic and therapeutic management

Published:November 28, 2022DOI:



      Breast cancer (BC) survival favors White versus Black Americans despite advances in screening and treatment. We hypothesized that these differences were dependent upon quality of care by analyzing long-term outcomes of 3139 early BC patients at our quaternary care center where uniform access and management of BC is provided to women irrespective of race.


      Prospectively collected data for clinical stage I-II BC patients from our quaternary care cancer center were analyzed, focusing on disease-specific survival (DSS). Subgroup analyses included the overall cohort, triple-negative BC (TNBC), non-TNBC and HER2/neu positive patients. Multivariable analyses to evaluate associations of variables with DSS were performed for each subgroup.


      The overall cohort consisted of 3139 BC patients (1159 Black, 1980 White). Black and White patients did not differ by most baseline variables. Black patients had higher rates of TNBC (18% versus 10%, p < 0.0001). Kaplan-Meier analysis of all subgroups (overall, TNBC, non-TNBC, HER2/neu positive) did not reveal DSS differences between Black and White patients. Multivariable analysis of subgroups also did not find race to be associated with DSS.


      In this large, carefully controlled, long term, single-institution prospective cohort study DSS in Black and White early BC patients with equal access to high quality care, did not differ. While BC patients with adverse molecular markers did slightly worse than those with more favorable markers, there is no observable difference between Black and White women with the same markers. These observations support the conclusion that equal access to, and quality, of BC care abolishes racial disparities in DSS.
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