Report: “Hispanics Had Higher Risk of Death for Many Cancers”


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Cancer rates continue to decrease among U.S. men, women, and children for all major racial/ethnic groups.

That’s the good news from the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2014 from the National Cancer Institute and others.

The bad news?

Hispanics/Latinos had higher risk of death for many cancers, which may in part reflect treatment differences, according to the report.

The report also had mixed findings on cancer survival rates, overall.

“Survival improved over time for almost all cancers at every stage of diagnosis,” said Dr. Ahmedin Jemal of the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “But survival remains very low for some types of cancer and for most types of cancers diagnosed at an advanced stage.”

Cancers with the lowest five-year survival rates from 2006-2012 were those of the pancreas (8.5%), liver (18.1%), lung (18.7%), esophagus (20.5%), stomach (31.1%), and brain (35%).

The cancers with the highest rates of survival in the same time period were those of the prostate (99.3%), thyroid (98.3%), melanoma (93.2%), and female breast (90.8%).

“The continued drops in overall cancer death rates in the United States are welcome news, reflecting improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment,” said Betsy A. Kohler of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

“But this report also shows us that progress has been limited for several cancers, which should compel us to renew our commitment to efforts to discover new strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment, and to apply proven interventions broadly and equitably.”

What does the new report mean for Latinos?

For all racial/ethnic groups, prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women were the most prevalent cancers, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

However, for Latinos, colorectal cancer preceded lung cancer as more frequent.

Cancer rates also increased for leukemia and liver cancer for every other racial/ethnic group, but stayed steady for Latinos.

Among women, overall cancer rates from 2009 to 2013 increased in Blacks, but remained the same for Whites and Latinas. Similarly, breast cancer rates increased in Blacks and remained the same for White and Latina women.

Rates also increased for thyroid, liver, and uterine cancers in all racial and ethnic groups, including Latinos.

Among men, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in all racial/ethnic groups. This was followed by prostate and colorectal cancer for Black, White, and Latino men.

For women, lung, breast, and colorectal cancers were the leading causes of cancer death in all racial/ethnic groups except Latinas. For that group, breast replaced lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death.

Read the full report here.

Find out more

Salud Today regularly covers Latino cancer topics. Read about our recent coverage:

You also can visit Redes En Acción, a UT Health San Antonio program, to find out more about Latino cancer issues, research, and solutions.

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