Dr. Newman on Health Disparities in Breast Cancer

Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCO
Published: Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019



Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCO, chief of Breast Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian, discusses health disparities among women with breast cancer.

Much of the research regarding health disparities has been done in African-American and Caucasian patients as that is where the biggest differential is, says Newman. Specifically, in breast cancer, higher disease-specific mortality is seen in African Americans than in Caucasians. Additionally, a higher proportion of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in younger women in the African-American community than in the Caucasian community, she adds. More concerningly is the higher degree to which biologically aggressive cancers manifest in African Americans than in Caucasians. Triple-negative breast cancers are twice as common among African-American women than in Caucasian women.

There are several reasons for these disparities, explains Newman. For example, socioeconomic disadvantages among the African-American community, which hinder their ability to access adequate healthcare coverage. This in turn can delay the time to diagnosis, which may explain why these patients present with more advanced-stage disease. The patterns regarding younger age and more aggressive disease among these patients are more likely related to tumor biology and genetics, says Newman.
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Lisa Newman, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCO, chief of Breast Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian, discusses health disparities among women with breast cancer.

Much of the research regarding health disparities has been done in African-American and Caucasian patients as that is where the biggest differential is, says Newman. Specifically, in breast cancer, higher disease-specific mortality is seen in African Americans than in Caucasians. Additionally, a higher proportion of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in younger women in the African-American community than in the Caucasian community, she adds. More concerningly is the higher degree to which biologically aggressive cancers manifest in African Americans than in Caucasians. Triple-negative breast cancers are twice as common among African-American women than in Caucasian women.

There are several reasons for these disparities, explains Newman. For example, socioeconomic disadvantages among the African-American community, which hinder their ability to access adequate healthcare coverage. This in turn can delay the time to diagnosis, which may explain why these patients present with more advanced-stage disease. The patterns regarding younger age and more aggressive disease among these patients are more likely related to tumor biology and genetics, says Newman.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: How Do We Leverage PARP Inhibition Strategies in the Contemporary Treatment of Breast Cancer?May 31, 20191.5
Community Practice Connections™: A Better Way to Stop Pain: Paths Toward Responsible Postsurgical Pain Management for Patients With Breast CancerMay 31, 20191.5
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