The effect of attendance in the Dutch breast cancer screening program on breast tumor characteristics among migrant women

R.R.E. Dassen, S. Pelders, L. de Munck, A. Jager, M. J. Hooning, J. H. van Dam, B. A.M. Heemskerk-Gerritsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: In general, migrant women have a lower breast cancer (BC) incidence rate and higher BC mortality than autochthonous women. Further, migrant women show lower participation in the national BC screening program. To further investigate those aspects, we aimed to determine differences in incidence and tumor characteristics between autochthonous and migrant BC patients in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Methods: We selected women diagnosed with BC in Rotterdam during 2012–2015 from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Incidence rates were calculated by migrant status (i.e., women with or without migration background). Multivariable analyses revealed adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) on the association between migration status and patient and tumor characteristics, additionally stratified by screening attendance (yes/no). Results: In total 1372 autochthonous and 450 migrant BC patients were included for analysis. BC incidence was lower among migrants than among autochthonous women. Overall, migrant women were younger at BC diagnosis (53 vs. 64 years, p < 0.001), and had higher risks of positive lymph nodes (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.33–2.33) and high grade tumors (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.04–1.75). Especially non-screened migrant women had higher risk of positive nodes (OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.43–5.21). Among the subgroup of screened women, we observed no significant differences between migrant and autochthonous patients. Conclusion: Migrant women have lower BC incidence than autochthonous women, but diagnosis was more often at younger age and with unfavorable tumor characteristics. Attending the screening program strongly reduces the latter. Therefore, promotion of participation in the screening program is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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