Observed Rates of Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Related Deaths Among Hispanic Women in the United States

Nov. 10, 2016


Take-Home Message:

Updated US breast cancer data shows that the rate of the disease is lower in Hispanic women compared to non-Hispanic white women. The rates of breast cancer related deaths are also lower, but differ among Hispanic subgroups.


Breast Cancer Prevalence and Mortality Among Hispanic Subgroups in the United States, 2009-2013

Author: Hunt, B.R.
Source: J Cancer Epid (2016). Doi:10.1155/2016/8784040

The US Hispanic population is growing, and research into health outcomes reveals that this diverse group is certainly not all the same. There are observed health differences among Hispanic subgroups. These differences are important, as they may direct health outreach and care. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy diagnosed in Hispanic women and the leading cause of cancer-related death within that population. Therefore, details about differences among members of Hispanic subgroups would be very useful in tailoring approaches to promoting breast health.

Multiple national databases were accessed. The percentage of the US female population that was of Hispanic origin was calculated. Hispanic subgroups were delineated: Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican and Central and South American. The prevalence of breast cancer among women aged 18-64 in non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics and the Hispanic subgroups was measured. Finally, the rates of breast cancer-specific death for each group were determined. Some of these databases pooled Central and South American women into one category. Therefore, this study had to do the same.

During the years 2009-2013, 1.03% of US Hispanic women were diagnosed with breast cancer. This was lower than the rate among non-Hispanic white women, which was 1.32%. The rate of breast cancer was essentially equal among the Hispanic subgroups.

The rate of breast cancer-specific deaths among Hispanic women was 17.71 per 100,000 women. This was lower than that of non-Hispanic white women: 22.49 per 100,000 women. Among the Hispanic subgroups, Central and South American women had the lowest rates of breast cancer-specific death. The highest rate was among Puerto Rican women, followed by Mexican and then Cuban women.

These results support the notion that women of unique Hispanic subgroups will have different breast health outcomes. Investigation into promoting the health of these women must consider varying disease profiles along with differing socioeconomic backgrounds and cultural traditions.