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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Health-related quality of life in Black breast cancer survivors with and without triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

  • Author(s): Vadaparampil, Susan T
  • Christie, Juliette
  • Donovan, Kristine A
  • Kim, Jongphil
  • Augusto, Bianca
  • Kasting, Monica L
  • Holt, Cheryl L
  • Ashing, Kimlin
  • Halbert, Chanita Hughes
  • Pal, Tuya
  • et al.


Black women are more likely to develop early-onset (≤50 years) breast cancer (BC) and have the lowest five-year, cause-specific survival rate of any United States (U.S.) racial or ethnic group. These disparities can be attributed partially to the higher rate of triple-negative BC (TNBC) in Blacks. Yet, little is known about health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among Black women with TNBC.


Black women with invasive BC ≤ 50 years were recruited via the Florida Cancer Data System as part of a population-based case-only study of etiology and outcomes of early-onset invasive BC. Of 460 consented participants, a subset of 355 self-reported sociodemographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables. Descriptive analyses included participants with known TNBC (n = 85) or non-TNBC (n = 245) disease. Univariable and multivariable analyses were conducted to examine differences in factors associated with HRQOL.


In unadjusted analyses, TNBC participants had significantly lower FACT-B total scores (90.1 ± 27.9) compared to non-TNBC (98.5 ± 27.6) participants (p < 0.05). For the TNBC group, multivariable analyses indicated five individual-level, and three systemic-level factors explain 80% of the response variation in HRQOL. For the non-TNBC group, seven individual-level factors and three systemic-level factors account for 76% of the variation in HRQOL scores.


Compared to Black women with non-TNBC, TNBC women have worse HRQOL. There are key individual and systemic-level factors that are unique to both groups. Findings can inform future HRQOL interventions to support young Black BC survivors.

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