More Younger South Asian Women Are Diagnosed With Aggressive Forms of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

A new study has found that younger Indian and Pakistani women have an increased rate of being diagnosed with more aggressive forms of breast cancer.

About the study: Researchers from the Rutgers School of Public Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey conducted a study to look into the increasing rates of breast cancer cases among South Asian women in the United States published in Rutgers Today.

  • Published in the International Journal of Cancer, the study used data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program.
  • From the database, the research team analyzed incidence data among Indian and Pakistani women from 1990 to 2014. 
  • They also reviewed breast cancer characteristics, treatment and survival data for 4,900 Indian and Pakistani and 482,250 non-Hispanic white female patients between 2000 and 2016.

About the findings: The data showed that while breast cancer incidence in Indian and Pakistani women was comparatively lower than in non-Hispanic white women, there was a noticeable increase of breast cancer diagnosis among Indian and Pakistani women over the years.

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  • The research team also found that Indian and Pakistani breast cancer patients were more likely to be diagnosed in their younger years and at more advanced stages than normal.
  • The South Asian patients also received more subcutaneous or total mastectomies than their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
  • Researchers also found that Indian and Pakistani women were less likely to die of breast cancer than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, but noted that they tracked their health for a shorter time.
  • Center for South Asian Quantitative Health and Education at the Rutgers School of Public Health director Jaya M. Satagopan noted that the findings offer valuable insight on breast cancer incidence in Indian and Pakistani women.
  • The team behind the study recommends finding ways to better engage Indian and Pakistani women in breast cancer studies and identify culturally relevant strategies to help improve preventive health care in the affected communities.

Feature Image via flaviopantera

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