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Breast Cancer Risks Not Same for Hispanic Women
Date:4/26/2010

Far fewer cases stem from established risk factors, study finds,,

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Some risk factors known to increase the odds of breast cancer in white women have less impact on Hispanic women, a new study shows.

For instance, for postmenopausal women in the study, "recent hormone use and younger age at menarche did not appear to play as big a role in Hispanics," said Dr. Lisa M. Hines, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Colorado and lead author of the study, published online April 26 in Cancer.

For younger women studied, family history and taller height -- found in general to slightly increase breast cancer risk, Hines said -- did not appear to be as strongly linked with breast cancer among Hispanics as among whites, the study found.

Researchers have long known that breast cancer rates, as well as death rates from the disease, vary by ethnic group. For instance, according to a national database, Hispanic women are less likely to get breast cancer than are white women, with 89 of every 100,000 Hispanic women getting a breast cancer diagnosis, compared with 132 of every 100,000 non-Hispanic white women.

However, Hispanic women are more likely to die from the disease, the statistics show.

"That's been known for a long time," Hines said. "The question is why."

About 15 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, and their numbers are growing, Hines noted, but few studies have looked at breast cancer risk in the Hispanic population to see if the accepted risks for breast cancer -- identified from analyses that included predominately white populations -- hold for Hispanic women.

For the new study, Hines and her colleagues analyzed information on white and Hispanic women enrolled in the 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study, so named because participants lived in New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado, four states whose boundaries touch at
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