Race/Ethnicity has no effect on outcome for breast cancer patients treated at an academic center with a public hospital.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Aug; 18(8):2157-61.CE
African American women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate than Caucasian women. To understand this difference, socioeconomic status (SES) needs to be controlled, which can be achieved by evaluating outcome within a population that is underinsured or low SES. We elected to examine the effect of race/ethnicity on outcome of patients with operable breast cancer by evaluating outcome in a population with low SES and similar access to care.
From a prospective breast cancer database created in 1998, we examined outcome for 786 patients with stage 0 to III breast cancer treated up to September 2008. Patients were treated at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and E.A. Conway Hospital and the majority received standard definitive surgery as well as appropriate adjuvant treatment. Primary endpoints were cancer recurrence and death. Statistical analysis performed included Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, log-rank test, Cox proportional hazards model, independent-samples t test, and chi(2) test. P <or= 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Sixty percent of patients were African American and over two thirds of patients were classified as either free care or Medicaid. The 5-year overall survival (OS) for African American and Caucasian patients was similar (81% and 84%, respectively; P = 0.23). On multivariate analysis, race/ethnicity was not an independent predictor of OS (P = 0.5); OS for the entire cohort was comparable with what was reported in the National Cancer Data Base.
In a predominantly indigent population, race/ethnicity had no effect on breast cancer outcome.