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Race and Ethnicity

Rates of breast cancer in the U.S. vary by race and ethnicity. White and now African-American women have the highest incidence (rate of new breast cancer cases) overall and Asian-American and Pacific Islander women have the lowest.

The main reason for the differences in breast cancer rates seem to be that women from different racial and ethnic groups have different prevalence rates of risk factors for breast cancer.

Known risk factors that vary by race and ethnicity include:

  • Age at first period
  • Age at menopause
  • Age at first childbirth
  • Body weight
  • Number of childbirths
  • Menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use)

For example, compared to Hispanic/Latina women and African-American women, white women are more likely to put off childbirth and to have fewer children, each of which increases the risk of breast cancer.

Click here to learn more about rates of breast cancer by race and ethnicity.

SOURCE: Susan G. Komen Foundation