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Cancer. 2009 Jul 15;115(14):3181-8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24376.

Ductal carcinoma in situ in African American versus Caucasian American women: analysis of clinicopathologic features and outcome.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Invasive breast carcinoma has a more aggressive phenotype and a higher mortality rate in African American (AA) than in Caucasian American (CA) women. The characteristics of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in the AA population have not been extensively studied.


The authors reviewed cases of DCIS diagnosed in AA and CA patients between 1996 and 2000 at their institution. Treatment and outcome were obtained from the clinical charts and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. They identified 217 AA (61%) and 141 CA (39%) patients.


AA women were significantly older at diagnosis (61 years vs 56 years, P = .001), and the size of the tumor was larger in AA patients (P = .001). The other pathological features examined were not statistically different between the 2 groups. Treatments with surgery and radiation were also similar. However, the CA patients were more likely to receive hormone therapy. Recurrence rate as DCIS or invasive carcinoma was similar in both patient groups, as was death due to disease. Time to recurrence with invasive carcinoma, however, was shorter for AA patients (32.8 +/- 13 vs 58 +/- 9; P = .02). Only overall survival (OS) rate was higher for CA patients (92% vs 71% at 10 years; P = .003).


Unlike invasive carcinoma, DCIS is diagnosed at a later age in AA patients. Except for larger size, DCIS does not have a more aggressive histology in AA patients. Treatment and recurrence rate were similar in both groups, as was death due to breast cancer. OS, however, was worse in AA women.

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