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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Breast cancer histology and receptor status characterization in Asian Indian and Pakistani women in the U.S. - a SEER analysis

Madhuri Kakarala12*, Laura Rozek3, Michele Cote3, Samadhi Liyanage1 and Dean E Brenner124

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Hematology/Oncolog, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, 2150 Cancer Center, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5390, USA

2 V.A. Medical Center, 2150 Cancer Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5390, USA

3 School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences, 6630 SPH 1, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA

4 Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan, 2150 Cancer Center, 1500 E Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5390, USA

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:191  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-191

Published: 11 May 2010



Recent reports suggest increase in estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) negative breast cancer yet little is known about histology or receptor status of breast cancer in Indian/Pakistani the U.S.


We examined the United States National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Cancer program to assess: a) frequency of breast cancer by age, b) histologic subtypes, c) receptor status of breast cancer and, d) survival in Indians/Pakistanis compared to Caucasians. There were 360,933 breast cancer cases diagnosed 1988-2006. Chi-Square analyses and Cox proportional hazards models, to estimate relative risks for breast cancer mortality after adjusting for confounders, were performed using Statistical Analysis Software 9.2.


Among Asian Indian/Pakistani breast cancer patients, 16.2% were < 40 yrs. old compared to 6.23% in Caucasians (p < 0.0001). Asian Indian women had more invasive ductal carcinoma (69.1 vs. 65.7%, p < 0.0001), inflammatory cancer (1.4% vs. 0.8, p < 0.0001) and less invasive lobular carcinoma (4.2% vs. 8.1%, p < 0.0001) than Caucasians. Asian Indian/Pakistani women had more ER/PR negative breast cancer (30.6% vs. 21.8%, p = 0.0095) than Caucasians. Adjusting for stage at diagnosis, age, tumor grade, nodal status, and histology, Asian Indian/Pakistani women's survival was similar to Caucasians, while African Americans' was worse.


Asian Indian/Pakistani women have higher frequency of breast cancer (particularly in age < 40), ER/PR negative invasive ductal and inflammatory cancer than Caucasians.