Hispanic Women More Likely Than Others To Be Diagnosed With More Aggressive Breast Cancer, Study Finds
Hispanic women are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage and more aggressive forms of breast cancer than other women, even when their use of preventive services and other factors are similar, according to a study in the May 15 issue of the journal Cancer, HealthDay/Austin American-Statesman reports. For the report, researchers from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Kaiser Permanente Colorado studied 139 Hispanic breast cancer patients and more than 2,100 non-Hispanic breast cancer patients. Researchers found that Hispanic women were three times more likely than women of other races to be diagnosed with breast cancer in stage IV. Hispanic women also were twice as likely to have large breast tumors that have cellular characteristics indicating poorer outcomes, researchers found. In addition, Hispanic women were diagnosed at an average age of 56, compared with 61 for non-Hispanic women (HealthDay/Austin American-Statesman, 4/9). Even in situations where use of health care services, such as mammography and regular physician visits, were similar and when independent factors, such income, were excluded, researchers found that Hispanic women still had more aggressive tumors (Washington Post, 4/10). They concluded that "the persistent findings of earlier mean age at diagnosis, advanced state, poorer grade, larger tumor size and fewer cases with estrogen receptors may suggest that true biological differences exist in breast cancer by ethnicity" (HealthDay/Austin American-Statesman, 4/9). An abstract of the study is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.