On May 19, 2020 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a paper confirming that multiple genes predispose black women to breast cancer. This study is called Contribution of Germline Predisposition Mutations to Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women.

According to the CDC African American women are more likely than Caucasian women to get triple negative breast cancer. Compared with white women, breast cancer incidence rates were higher among black women younger than 60, also Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer.

Julie R. Palmer, Sc.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, along with colleagues, examined associations between mutations in genes and breast cancer risk. They studied 5054 African American women with breast cancer and 4993 unaffected African American women.

The study links three specific genes to breast cancer, BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. This study demonstrates the importance of genetic testing for families of women with HR negative or triple negative breast cancer.

The authors say, “The present results demonstrate, for the first time, the validity and utility of gene-panel testing, beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2, for breast cancer in African American women. Testing will be particularly valuable for women diagnosed with ER-negative and/or triple-negative breast cancer and their families.”

You can read the original journal entry from JNCI here.
The entry into the journal Practice Update can be viewed here.

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