02-24-2018  7:59 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Breaking Bread Breaking Barriers, Feb. 26

Monthly dinner aims to build relationships between communities of color and police ...

Local Group Researches African American Ancestry

This Genealogical Forum of Oregon special interest group holds monthly meetings ...

Last Day to Apply for Affordable Housing is Feb. 22

Longtime and displaced residents of N/NE Portland receive preference for new housing, apply before midnight Thursday ...

NAACP Announces Key Partnerships

Voter mobilization for 2018 midterm elections takes precedence among issues uniting groups ...

Winter Donations Needed, Warming Centers Open Through Thursday

Locals encouraged to check on neighbors, winter gear needed ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Painting President Obama's Portrait Was Life-Changing

Artist Kehinde Wiley represented the president's life using color, composition and flowers ...

Raising Emotionally Competent Children

Lynnette Monroe on how her grandparents taught her to love herself ...

Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers

Black consumers are spending jumi.2 trillion annually and are demanding that brands speak to them in ways that resonate...

Guest Opinion: Skipper Osborne’s Testimony on HB 4005

In testimony to legislature, Osborne says bill could decrease access to important therapies ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Dr. Otis Brawley Special to CNN

Editor's note: CNN conditions expert Dr. Otis Webb Brawley is the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, a world-renowned cancer expert and a practicing oncologist. He is also the author of the book "How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America."

(CNN) -- Cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, according to an American Cancer Society report released Monday.

Every three years since 2000, scientists at the cancer society have published Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos. Such studies provide data that help develop an efficient science-based cancer control plan.

Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States. Approximately 16.3% of America's population (50.5 million out of 310 million people) is Hispanic. It is estimated that 112,800 people of Hispanic ethnicity will be diagnosed with cancer and 33,200 will die of the disease in 2012.

The finding is due in part to the younger age distribution of Hispanics. Approximately one in 10 Hispanics is age 55 or over, compared to one in three non-Hispanics.

Among non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans, heart disease remains the leading cause of death, according to Monday's American Cancer Society report, the fifth.

While cancer is the most common cause of death for all three populations under the age of 85, there are fewer Hispanics in the United States over the age of 85, where heart disease is predominant.

Overall cancer incidence and mortality rates are lower in Hispanics than in the non-Hispanic U.S. population, meaning Hispanics have a lower risk of cancer diagnosis and death. Hispanics do have higher diagnosis and death rates from cancers of the stomach, liver, cervix and gallbladder.

There are a number of Hispanic subpopulations, each with a different ethnicity and culture. A weakness in the study of Hispanic cancer rates is the fact that much of the available U.S. data is an aggregate, masking important differences between Hispanic subpopulations according to country of origin. As better data for subpopulations are available, more efficient targeted prevention efforts might be possible.

For example, it is known that Mexicans in the United States tend to have lower cancer rates than Puerto Ricans. On the other hand, Cubans in America tend to have higher cancer rates than Puerto Ricans. This is heavily driven by the fact that Cubans and Puerto Ricans have higher smoking rates than Mexicans.

Intensive culturally sensitive anti-smoking efforts in Cuban and Puerto Rican communities could have a substantial impact. It is estimated that 63% of Hispanics in the United States are Mexican, 9.2% are Puerto Rican, 3.5% are Cuban and 2.8% are Dominican.

The cancer death rate in Hispanics has been declining since 2000, one of the first years in which accurate Hispanic numbers were available. Cancer death rates for all Americans have been decreasing since 1991.

Since 2000, the cancer incidence rate (risk of cancer diagnosis) declined by 1.75% per year among men and 0.3% per year among women. This compares with declines of 1% and .02% among non-Hispanic men and women, respectively.

The cancer mortality rate (risk of cancer death) among Hispanics has also declined by 2.3% per year in men and 1.4% per year in women. This compares with declines of 1.5% and 1.3% among non-Hispanic men and women, respectively.

The research indicates that cancer deaths can be prevented and lives saved among Hispanics if we increase use of proven cancer screening tests; make the hepatitis B and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine more widely available; and reduce tobacco use, alcohol consumption and obesity rates. Indeed, this message could be life-saving for all Americans.

The triad of poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and obesity is the second leading cause of cancer in the United States, surpassed only by tobacco use.

This triad is an especially significant problem among Hispanic women. Current data indicate that among Hispanics, 43% of women and 34% of men are obese. This compares with 33% of all women in the United States and 32% of all men.

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