Breast cancer characteristics at diagnosis and survival among Arab-American women compared to European- and African-American women

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 3.94). 05/2008; 114(2):339-46. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-008-9999-z
Source: PubMed


Data from Arab world studies suggest that Arab women may experience a more aggressive breast cancer phenotype. To investigate this finding, we focused on one of the largest settlements of Arabs and Iraqi Christians (Chaldeans) in the US, metropolitan Detroit- a SEER reporting site since 1973.
We identified a cohort of primary breast cancer cases diagnosed 1973-2003. Using a validated name algorithm, women were identified as being of Arab/Chaldean descent if they had an Arab last or maiden name. We compared characteristics at diagnosis (age, grade, histology, SEER stage, and marker status) and overall survival between Arab-, European-, and African-Americans.
The cohort included 1,652 (2%) women of Arab descent, 13,855 (18%) African-American women, and 63,615 (80%) European-American women. There were statistically significant differences between the racial groups for all characteristics at diagnosis. Survival analyses overall and for each SEER stage showed that Arab-American women had the best survival, followed by European-American women. African-American women had the poorest overall survival and were 1.37 (95% confidence interval: 1.23-1.52) times more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive tumor (adjusting for age, grade, marker status, and year of diagnosis).
Overall, Arab-American women have a distribution of breast cancer histology similar to European-American women. In contrast, the stage, age, and hormone receptor status at diagnosis among Arab-Americans was more similar to African-American women. However, Arab-American women have a better overall survival than even European-American women.

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