Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breast Cancer Incidence, Risk Factors, Health Care Utilization, and Outcomes in the USA

Annina Seiler*, Kyle W. Murdock, Luz M. Garcini, Diana Andrea Chirinos Medina, Jeffrey Ramirez, Brielle Jackson, Christopher P. Fagundes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose of the Review: This review examines racial/ethnic disparities in female breast cancer within the USA. Specifically, differences in breast cancer incidence, risk factors, health care utilization use, and outcomes among Caucasians and non-Caucasians are explored. Findings: In the USA, there are striking racial/ethnic disparities for female breast cancer. The etiology of these disparities is likely multi-factorial, including genetic, behavioral, socio-cultural, and environmental elements. Relative to Caucasian women, African American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander breast cancer patients generally have a lower survival rate and worse prognosis despite lower incidence rates. They also tend to have more associated health problems and unmet psychosocial needs. Summary: Breast cancer patients are heterogeneous with respect to their race, cultural background, socioeconomic status, behavioral profile, and disease pathophysiology, and these factors impact health outcomes and health care needs. To reduce disparities and improve health outcomes in minority women, a multifaceted approach is required that includes efforts to minimize barriers to health care access, enhance cancer screening rates, and increase the use of culturally sensitive interventions designed to reduce symptom burden and enhance quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Breast Cancer Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Health disparities
  • Minorities
  • Psychosocial needs
  • Quality of life
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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