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Cancer Incidence Mortality Lower Among Hispanics

Variations in cancer risk due to differences in exposure to carcinogens, screening rates, lifestyle

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics have lower cancer incidence and death rates than non-Hispanic whites, according to a study published online Sept. 16 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Rebecca L. Siegel, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used national data to report on cancer statistics for Hispanics.

The researchers estimated that there would be 125,900 new cancer cases diagnosed and 37,800 cancer deaths among Hispanics in 2015. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics have 20 percent lower incidence rates and 30 percent lower death rates for all cancers combined. During adolescence (ages 15 to 19), death rates are slightly higher for Hispanics. Cancer rates vary with country of origin, with the lowest in Mexicans, except for infection-associated cancers. Hispanic men have liver cancer incidence rates that are twice those in non-Hispanic white men; these rates doubled from 1992 to 2012, but since 2003, rates in men younger than 50 decreased by 43 percent. Differences in exposure to cancer-causing infectious agents, rates of screening, and lifestyle patterns account for differences in cancer rates for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.

"Strategies for reducing cancer risk in Hispanic populations include increasing the uptake of preventive services (e.g., screening and vaccination) and targeted interventions to reduce obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption," the authors write.

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