US breast cancer screening guidelines questioned for ethnic minority women
medwireNews: An analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database has found racial differences in age at breast cancer diagnosis, indicating that the current age-based US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines may lead to underscreening in women of ethnic minorities.
At present the USPSTF recommends initiating screening at 50 years of age in individuals at average risk for developing breast cancer, say David Chang (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA) and colleagues.
But they found that among 747,763 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1973 and 2010, a significantly higher proportion of non-White than White patients were diagnosed at ages younger than 50 years, at rates of 31.0%, 34.9%, and 32.8% for Black, Hispanic, and Asian women, respectively, versus 23.6% for White women.
“[T]o achieve a similar capture rate for nonwhite patients as current guidelines do for white patients at 50 years of age, screening ages would need to decrease to 47 years for black, 46 years for Hispanic, and 47 years for Asian patients,” Chang et al write in JAMA Surgery.
They continue: “Our finding challenges established norms with regard to screening practices and provides empirical evidence that race-based screening should be considered.”
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