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Hispanics, Blacks at Raised Colon Cancer Risk

U.S. minorities more prone to advanced disease than whites, study finds

MONDAY, June 27, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Members of Hispanic, black and other U.S. ethnic groups face a 10 to 60 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer and a 20 to 30 percent higher risk of dying from the disease compared to non-Hispanic whites, a new study finds.

The study, by investigators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, reviewed data from the federal Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. Researchers compared colorectal cancer stage and death among people from 18 different racial and ethnic groups.

They found that blacks, Native Americans, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer. Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics faced a greater risk of dying from colorectal cancer compared to non-Hispanic whites, while Asians/Pacific Islanders were at a lower risk.

There were variations within these broad racial categories. For example, among Asian/Pacific Islanders, the risk of stage IV colorectal cancer and/or death was lower for Americans of Chinese, Japanese and Indian/Pakistani descent but higher for Filipino Americans and Hawaiians, compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Among Hispanics, the risk of stage IV colorectal cancer and/or death was similar for Cubans and Puerto Ricans but higher for Mexicans and South/Central Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites.

"We observed numerous differences in the risks of advanced-stage colorectal cancer and mortality across individuals in different Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic subgroups," the researchers wrote, suggesting that experts need to take these variations into account when they evaluate cancer risk in minority populations.

The study will appear in the August 1 issue of the journal CANCER.

More information:

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., news release, June 22, 2005
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