Several reports have indicated that black women with breast cancer have a poorer prognosis than white women. To investigate this phenomenon and to identify some of the underlying reasons, 172 patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast, who were managed similarly, were studied. Survival analysis comparing the two populations with breast cancer revealed that white women had significantly longer overall survival (OS), P = 0.015 by Wilcoxon and 0.019 by log-rank, and borderline significantly longer disease-free survival (DFS), P = 0.04 by Wilcoxon and 0.07 by log-rank. While there was no significant difference in OS and DFS between the two groups with negative nodes, significantly poorer DFS and OS was noted in black patients with one to three positive lymph nodes compared to white patients, P = 0.008. The white patients had a higher incidence of hormone receptor-positive tumors, especially progesterone receptor (P = 0.0016). However, survival analysis failed to show any difference between the black and the white populations based on hormonal receptors. Such findings suggested that further investigation of other factor(s) is warranted. © Wiley-Liss, Inc.