There is a growing awareness of breast cancer and early detection. It is still estimated that 40,000 people die yearly from this form of cancer. Significant studies and research has been concluded to find ties and potential prevention from this disease. This paper will analyze three different studies in attempts to answer the following question: Are there determinable ethnic factors that create a higher risk for breast cancer? By analyzing these studies a conclusion will be created in efforts to learn if determinable ethnic factors create a higher risk for breast cancer.

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The first study addresses the association of body fatness and it promoting a higher risk for breast cancer in women of African ancestry. The study takes place with AA (African Ancestry) women with a higher prevalence of obesity. The epidemiology is the body fat distribution, body size, and body composition on breast cancer risk among AA women.
There were 978 cases in this study and 958 controls. The location was New York City and New Jersey. Women’s Circle of Health Study was the study. The ages ranged from 20-75 years of age. The results of the study showed that BMI was not a significant impact on breast cancer pre or post-menopausal. “We found that higher waist and hip circumference were associated with increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer. While we did not find increased risk for general obesity, other studies have found that a higher BMI is associated with more advanced disease at diagnosis” (Bandera et al., 2013). Even though there are other risks associated with obesity among AA women, this study did not conclude that there is a higher risk of breast cancer in women of African ancestry based on fatness.

The second study links Indian women with an impact of TGF-b1 Gene Polymorphisms with increasing risk of breast cancer in Indian women. They determined that an altered cellular pathway associated with cancer is TGF-b transforming growth factor beta signaling. Indian women have the epidemiology is TGF-b1 gene. The study analyzed 1222 candidates. The case study was distantly located based on ethnically divergent case-control. The study concluded that “c.29C.T and c.74G.C polymorphisms in the TGF-b1 gene significantly affect breast cancer risk, which correlates with elevated TGF-b1 level in the patients. The c.29C.T locus is polymorphic across ethnically different populations, but c.74G.C locus is monomorphic in Tibeto-Burman and polymorphic in other Indian populations” (Pooja et al., 2013). There is an apparent impact of c.74G.C polymorphism and the risk of breast cancer. There are additional studies that need to occur based on genetic variations of ethnic groups and polymorphism on the risk of breast cancer.

The final study looks at the potential of passive smoking exposure from partners pose a risk factor for ER+/PR+ double positive breast cancer in nonsmoking Chinese urban women. This study was used to link the exposure of smoke and the ER+/PR+ positive breast cancer in Chinese women who are not smokers. The basis of this study was focused on urban Chinese breast cancer patients at China Medical University 1st Hospital between January and November 2009. These individuals had no smoking history. A total of 312 individuals participated. The women who were exposed to PSE had a greater risk of breast cancer (adjusted OR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.05–2.03; P=0.027). “We found that PSE was associated with increased risk of breast cancer, with a weak dose-response relationship between PSE and breast cancer, especially in ER+/PR+ cancers. The association between PSE from partners and ER/PR-related breast cancer warrants further study” (Tong et al., 2014). This study was hospital based, so there is significant limitations and further research needs to be done to validate these findings. Broadening the study to the general population and other ethnic group’s needs to be concluded to find out there are other links between the exposure of smoke and the ER+/PR+ positive breast cancer.

By analyzing these studies, a conclusion was drawn that determinable ethnic factors do create a higher risk for breast cancer. Two of the three articles shows a direct correlation between distinguishable variables and breast cancer. These studies show that there are potential links in ethnic groups that make them a higher risk for breast cancer. More test needs to be done to validate this finding and to find more potential correlations. All three articles provide a solid basis, however additional studies are needed in the future for a better understanding of these determinable factors.

  • Bandera, Elisa V.; Urmila Chandran; Gary Zirpoli; Zhihong Gong; Susan E McCann; Chi-Chen Hong; Gregory Ciupak; Karen Pawlish; and Christine B Ambrosone. (2013). Body Fatness and Breast Cancer Risk in Women of African Ancestry. BMC Cancer, 13:475.
  • Tong, Jian-hua; Zhi Li.; Jing Shi; He-ming Li; Yan Wang; Ling-yu Fu; and Yun-peng Liu. (2014). Passive Smoking Exposure from Partners as a Risk Factor for ER+/PR+ Double Positive Breast Cancer in Never- Smoking Chinese Urban Women: A Hospital-Based Matched Case Control Study. PLOS ONE, Volume 9, Issue 5.