Breast cancer characteristics of Vietnamese women in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Scarlett S. Lin*, John C. Phan, Albert Y. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine breast cancer characteristics of women of Vietnamese ancestry living in the San Francisco Bay Area in comparison with those of other racial or ethnic groups in the same area. Design Data were obtained from the population-based Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry, part of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. We included breast cancer cases diagnosed from 1988 to 1999 and compared the age at diagnosis, stage and histologic grade at diagnosis, estrogen- and progesterone-receptor status, and surgery types across racial or ethnic groups. We also modeled the effect of patient and clinical characteristics and hospital and physician on the racial or ethnic variations in surgery type. Results: Vietnamese women were younger at diagnosis than other racial or ethnic subgroups (mean age, 51.0 years), with 49.6% of the diagnoses occurring in patients younger than 50. They were also significantly more likely to have received mastectomy for their in situ and localized tumors (61.1% having mastectomy) than women of other racial or ethnic groups. The increased likelihood of having mastectomy among Vietnamese women was not affected greatly by age, year of diagnosis, tumor stage, histologic grade, or physician, but was partly attributable to the hospital of diagnosis. Conclusions: The effects of a lower mean age at diagnosis and the reasons for an unexpectedly higher percentage of mastectomies in this Asian subgroup should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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