Estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer in black americans. Correlation of receptor data with tumor differentiation

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It has been observed that 60–70% of breast cancer patients have estrogen receptors (ER) and that nearly two‐thirds of such patients respond favorably to endocrine therapy. Cytosolic ER and progesterone receptors (PgR) have been evaluated in the current study, among 146 black women with breast cancer in order to determine whether the distribution of ER and PgR differs from the national norm. The results showed following trends that were similar to reports from other institutions: (1) postmenopausal patients and primary tumors showed higher ER positivity than premenopausal patients and metastatic sites, respectively; (2) a significant correlation between the ER positivity and tumor grade; and (3) a higher PgR positivity in ER‐positive patients than in ER‐negative patients. However, statistically significant differences were observed in three parameters when compared to reports from other institutions on white patients: (1) a low incidence of ER‐positive (46%) and high incidence of ER‐negative (42%) tumors; (2) a higher incidence of poorly differentiated (55.5%) and a lower incidence of well differentiated (5.5%) tumors; tumor grade was independent of age, menopausal status, histopathology and stage; and (3) a higher percentage of patients discovered at a more advanced stage of the disease. The clinical implications of these results in explaining the relatively poorer survival of black women with breast cancer compared to whites is discussed. Whether this high incidence of PD tumors and thus a high incidence of ER negativity is due to ethnic differences and/or environmental and other factors remains to be elucidated. Copyright © 1982 American Cancer Society

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