Young Black women are disproportionately afflicted with breast cancer, a proportion of which may be due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) gene mutations. In a sample of Black women with early onset breast cancer, we evaluated BRCA mutations and explored personal and system-level clinical characteristics. Black women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (age ≤50) were recruited through the state cancer registry. Participants completed a questionnaire, genetic counseling and BRCA testing. Of the 48 women who consented to study participation, 46 provided a usable biologic specimen for BRCA testing. The overall prevalence of BRCA mutations and variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in participants was 6.5% and 34.8%, respectively. Of these, only 14 were referred for genetic counseling prior to study enrollment. Overall, those participants who chose to undergo bilateral mastectomy had a higher number of relatives with breast and ovarian cancer (p = 0.024) and a higher household income (p = 0.009). BRCA mutation prevalence and the high prevalence of VUS in participants are consistent with prior studies. Furthermore, clinical factors such as family history and financial means may influence type of surgery recommended and chosen, at both the provider and patient level, respectively. Finally, the limited number of patients referred for genetic counseling prior to surgical treatment for breast cancer may represent a missed clinical opportunity to inform surgical decisions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information on the impact of hormone receptor status subtypes in breast cancer (BC) prognosis is still limited for Hispanics. We aimed to evaluate the association of BC molecular subtypes and other clinical factors with survival in a hospital-based female population of BC cases in Puerto Rico. We analyzed 663 cases of invasive BC diagnosed between 2002 and 2005. Information on HER-2/neu (HER-2) overexpression, estrogen (ER), and progesterone (PR) receptor status and clinical characteristics were retrieved from hospitals cancer registries and record review. Survival probabilities by covariates of interest were described using the Kaplan-Meier estimators. Cox proportional hazards models were employed to assess factors associated with risk of BC death. Overall, 17.3% of BC cases were triple-negative (TN), 61.8% were Luminal-A, 13.3% were Luminal-B, and 7.5% were HER-2 overexpressed. In the multivariate Cox model, among patients with localized stage, women with TN BC had higher risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 2.57, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29-5.12) as compared to those with Luminal-A status, after adjusting for age at diagnosis. In addition, among women with regional/distant stage at diagnosis, those with TN BC (HR: 5.48, 95% CI: 2.63-11.47) and those HER-2+, including HER-2 overexpressed and Luminal-B, (HR: 2.73, 95% CI:1.30-5.75) had a higher mortality. This is the most comprehensive epidemiological study to date on the impact of hormone receptor expression subtypes in BC survival in Puerto Rico. Consistent to results in other populations, the TN subtype and HER-2+ tumors were associated with decreased survival.
Cancer Medicine 06/2013; 2(3):343-50. DOI:10.1002/cam4.78 · 2.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Young Black women in the United States are disproportionately afflicted with breast cancer, a proportion of which may be due to BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) gene mutations. In a cancer registry-based sample of young Black women with breast cancer, we evaluated: (1) the prevalence of BRCA mutations detected through full gene sequencing and large rearrangements testing and (2) proportions that accessed genetic services pre-dating study enrollment. Black women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer ≤age 50 years in 2009-2012 were recruited through the Florida Cancer Registry. Participants completed genetic counseling, a study questionnaire, and consent for medical record release. Saliva specimens were collected for BRCA testing. Overall, 13 participants (9 %) had BRCA mutations detected (including 11 through full gene sequencing and two through large rearrangements testing). One of these large rearrangements, BRCA1 (delExon8), was identified in a participant who had previously tested negative on clinical comprehensive BRCAnalysis that was performed prior to undergoing a lumpectomy. Although all 144 participants met national criteria for referral for cancer genetic risk assessment, 61 (42 %) were referred for genetic counseling and/or had genetic testing preceding study enrollment, and only 20 (14 %) received genetic counseling. Our findings emphasize the importance of large rearrangements testing to increase detection of deleterious BRCA mutations in young Black women with breast cancer. The registry-based design of our study increase the generalizability of findings compared with efforts focused on clinic-based populations. Furthermore, results suggest efforts are needed to improve access to genetic counseling and testing.
Journal of community genetics 08/2013; 5(2). DOI:10.1007/s12687-013-0166-9
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the development of a psychoeducational intervention (PEI) to increase uptake of genetic counseling targeted to high-risk breast cancer survivors. Based on previous research, scientific literature, and a review of cancer education websites, we identified potential PEI content. We then assessed the initial acceptability and preference of two booklets of identical content but different layouts, by presenting the booklets to individuals with a personal or family history of breast cancer (n = 57). The preferred booklet was evaluated by two focus groups of ten breast cancer patients who had not attended genetic counseling. The booklet was refined based on participants' feedback at each stage. Focus group participants generally found the booklet visually appealing, informative, and helpful, but some thought that it was too long. Final changes were made based on learner verification principles of attraction, comprehension, cultural acceptability, and persuasion. This project produced an interventional tool to present key constructs that may facilitate decision making about risk-appropriate genetic counseling uptake among high-risk breast cancer survivors. The process described for creating, testing, and adapting materials from a patient perspective can be used for developing other PEIs. This newly developed, unique PEI can be used in many clinical settings.
Journal of Cancer Education 04/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1007/s13187-014-0643-9 · 1.23 Impact Factor
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