Breast cancer treatment delays in a majority minority community: Is there a difference?

Helen M. Parsons, Kate I. Lathrop, Susanne Schmidt, Marcela Mazo-Canola, Jessica Trevino-Jones, Heather Speck, Anand B. Karnad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose Recent studies from large nationwide cancer data-bases have consistently shown that Hispanic women with breast cancer have delays in treatment initiation compared with non-Hispanic white women. However, time to treatment initiation has not been studied in a community where Hispanics are the majority. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective, observational study of 362 female patients with breast cancer treated at a large National Cancer Institute (NCI) - designated cancer center with a largely Hispanic population. We examined the relationship between race/ethnicity and time from mammogram to biopsy as well as time from biopsy to treatment initiation using Kaplan-Meier analyses and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Half of the female patients with breast cancer were of Hispanic descent (50.0%; n = 181). Hispanic patients were more likely to be obese, have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group functional status ≥1, and have higher histologic grade disease (all P ≤ .05); no differences in American Joint Committee on Cancer stage at diagnosis were observed. After comprehensive adjustment for demographic and clinical characteristics, we found no significant differences between Hispanic versus non-Hispanic white patients in time from mammogram to biopsy (hazard ratio [HR], 0.91; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.21) or time from biopsy to treatment (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.88). Conclusion: Hispanic women and Non-Hispanic white women with breast cancer treated at an NCI-designated cancer center had similar times to biopsy and treatment initiation. These findings suggest that in majority minority communities with large cancer centers, racial disparities can be reduced. With a growing Hispanic population throughout the United States, future studies should examine the long-term impact on improved breast cancer survival in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e144-e153
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.


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