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Cancer risk for African-American women with benign breast disease factors

February 12, 2013


Michele Cote, associate professor of oncology in Wayne State's School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, recently reviewed data from about 1,400 20- to 84-year-old African-American women who underwent breast biopsies between 1997 and 2000. Researchers identified biopsies that showed benign breast disease (BBD) and also tracked subsequent breast cancers. BBD is an established risk factor for breast cancer among Caucasian women, Cote said, but less is known about it in African-American women, who tend to get breast cancer earlier, in more aggressive forms and die more frequently from it. She said her study marks a successful collaboration between Wayne State University, Karmanos and the Mayo Clinic that helps identify those at greatest risk for breast cancer and lays the groundwork for studying additional pathological characteristics. "Better characterization of the risk of breast cancer among women with BBD, considering both ethnicity and detailed molecular findings, can lead to better surveillance, earlier diagnosis and, potentially, improved survival," Cote said.