Association of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and breast cancer subtypes in the National Cancer Data Base (2010–2011)


To estimate the odds of breast cancer subtypes in minority populations versus non-Hispanic (NH) whites stratified by socioeconomic status (SES) [a composite of individual-level SES (insurance status) and area-level SES (median household income quartile from 2000 U.S. Census data)] using a large nationwide cancer database. We used the National Cancer Data Base to identify breast cancer cases diagnosed in 2010 and 2011, the only 2 years since U.S. cancer registries uniformly began collecting HER2 results. Breast cancer cases were classified into five subtypes based on hormone receptor (HR) and HER2 status: HR+/HER2−, HR+/HER2+, HR−/HER2+ (HER2-overexpressing), HR−/HER2− (TN), and unknown. A polytomous logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) comparing the odds of non-HR+/HER2-subtypes to HR+/HER2− for racial/ethnic groups controlling for and stratifying by SES, using a composite of insurance status and area-level income. Compared with NH whites, NH blacks and Hispanics were 84 % (OR = 1.84; 95 % CI 1.77–1.92) and 17 % (OR = 1.17; 95 % CI 1.11–1.24) more likely to have TN subtype versus HR+/HER2−, respectively. Asian/Pacific Islanders (API) had 1.45 times greater odds of being diagnosed with HER2-overexpressing subtype versus HR+/HER2− compared with NH whites (OR = 1.45; 95 % CI 1.31–1.61). We found similar ORs for race in high and low strata of SES. In a large nationwide hospital-based dataset, we found higher odds of having TN breast cancer in black women and of HER2-overexpressing in API compared with white women in every level of SES.

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Correspondence to Helmneh M. Sineshaw.

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Sineshaw, H.M., Gaudet, M., Ward, E.M. et al. Association of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and breast cancer subtypes in the National Cancer Data Base (2010–2011). Breast Cancer Res Treat 145, 753–763 (2014).

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  • ER
  • PR
  • HER2
  • Breast cancer
  • Triple-negative