Black and White Patients Fare Equally Well When Treated with Post-lumpectomy Radiotherapy

Li Liu, MD
OncoLink Assistant Editor
Last Modified: October 25, 2000

Presenter: S. H. Burri
Affiliation: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA


African-American women have a lower survival rate than white women following a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. Limited information is available regarding the impact of race on results of breast conservation therapy (BCT). In this study, the researchers evaluated the effect of race on local control and disease-free survival in patients treated with post-lumpectomy radiotherapy.

Materials and Methods:

  • A total of 270 women (black 102, white 162, others 6) treated between 1993 and 1996 were reviewed retropectively.

  • Median follow-up was 49 months.

  • Median age was 55 years.


  • Black women were more likely to present with higher stage disease (Stage II: 43.1% vs. 32.1%, p=0.01) as well as node positive (29.4% vs. 14.8%, p=0.024) disease.

  • 5-year local control in the black patients was 95.5% vs. 94.8% in the white patients.

  • 5-year disease-free survival in the black patients was 90.3% compared to 91.7% in the white patient population.

Authors' Conclusions

  • There was preponderance of negative prognostic factors in the black patients with breast cancer.

  • 5-year local control and disease-free survival were comparable between black and white women with invasive breast cancer after post-lumpectomy radiotherapy.

Clinical/Scientific Implications:

  • Black women may benefit as much as white women do from post-lumpectomy radiotherapy, despite negative prognostic factors that could put them at a disadvantage.