Breast cancer and age in ethnic groups in South East England


Year:

Session type:

Ruth Jack1, Elizabeth Davies1, Henrik Møller1
1King's College London, London, United Kingdom

Background

Black women have lower age?standardised breast cancer incidence rates than White women in the UK.  However, little is known about such differences in risk in separate age groups.  We therefore examined whether there is a difference in the age at which Black Caribbean, Black African and White women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and whether such differences are related to population age structures.

Method

Records on female residents of South East England diagnosed with breast cancer between 1998 and 2003 were extracted from the Thames Cancer Registry database.  Age?specific rates were calculated for each 5?year age group using 2001 Census population data for White, Black Caribbean and Black African women.

Results

Black Caribbean and Black African breast cancer patients were younger than both the White patients and those with no ethnicity recorded.  Black Caribbean and Black African women in the population also had a younger age profile than White women.  The computed age?specific rates in women aged under 50 were similar in the different ethnic groups, whereas in women aged 50 and over White women had higher rates.

Conclusion

Breast cancer incidence rates are similar in Black Caribbean, Black African and White women aged under 50 years.  The younger age of Black Caribbean and Black African breast cancer patients in South East England reflects the younger age of these populations, rather than increased risk of disease at younger ages.