Same prevalence of breast cancer mutations in black and white women

Same prevalence of breast cancer mutations in black and white women

Black women and (non-hispanic) white women have no significant differences in the levels of breast cancer genetic mutations, although black women tend to develop breast cancer younger and TNBC more often.

Approximately, five percent of both black and white women have a genetic mutation that increases their risk of breast cancer and both groups should have equal rates of genetic testing.

Previous smaller studies have suggested that black women may have a higher genetic risk. However, in this research conducted by members of the Basser Center for BRCA, at the Abramson Cancer Center in Penn State, over 30,000 women were studied and the results of 5.65 p[er cent for black women and 5.06 per cent for non-Hispanic white women were deemed non-significant.

Doctor Susan Domchek, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA said, “We shouldn’t make changes to testing guidelines based on race alone. Rather, our efforts should focus on ensuring equal access to and uptake of testing to minimize disparities in care and outcomes.”

Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50 and with TNBC than non-Hispanic white women.  This study analyzed data from seven population-based studies in the US ‘Carriers consortium’ of 17 large epidemiology studies on women with breast cancer. Among 3,946 Black and 25,287 non-Hispanic White women, there was no statistically significant difference in Pathogenic Variants (PVs) by race: 5.65 percent of Black women vs. 5.06 percent of non-Hispanic White women had PVs in the 12 genes. In the PV groups of most significance (BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2) cancer at a younger age and TNBC were more prevalent. However, compared to white women, black women are much less likely to undergo genetic counseling and testing in America.

Go to: Seven natural compounds help fight TNBC 


1. Susan M. Domchek; JAMA Oncol. Published online May 27, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1492


2021 Research
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