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Breast Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2006-2008*

New Cases
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women; an estimated 14,300 Hispanic women are expected to be diagnosed in 2006. Some of the factors that increase risk of breast cancer (age, family history, later age at first full term pregnancy, early menarche, and late menopause) are not modifiable. Other factors such as post-menopausal obesity, use post-menopausal hormones, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity are potentially modifiable. The breast cancer incidence rate in Hispanic women is about 40% lower than that of non-Hispanic white women (table 2). This may partly result from protective reproductive patterns (lower age at first birth and larger number of children) and less use of hormone replacement therapy. It may also reflect under diagnosis due to lower utilization of mammography.

The incidence of breast cancer in post menopausal women could be reduced by maintaining a healthy body weight. During 1994 to 2003, breast cancer incidence rates changed very little in Latino women.

An estimated 1,740 deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among Hispanic women in 2006. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. The average annual decrease of 2.2% in the breast cancer death rate from 1994-2003 among Hispanic women was similar to the decrease seen in non-Hispanic white women (2.4 per year).

Stage Distribution and Survival
Breast cancer is less likely to be diagnosed at the earliest state in Hispanic women compared to non-Hispanic white women. For example, during the period 2000-2003, 54% of breast cancers among Hispanic women were diagnosed at the local stage, compared to 63% of cases among non-Hispanic white women. Hispanic women are also more likely to be diagnosed with larger breast tumors than non-Hispanic white women. Differences in mammography utilization and delayed follow-up of abnormal screening results may contribute to this difference. Hispanic women are about 20% more likely to die of breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women diagnosed at similar age and stage.

*American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2006-2008. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc.



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