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Breast cancer risk factors differ among races
Date:4/25/2010

A new study finds that factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer among white women have less influence in Hispanic women. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that research is needed to evaluate how breast cancer risk factors differ among ethnic and racial populations.

Breast cancer occurs more frequently in certain ethnic and racial groups, but the reasons behind these differences are not fully understood. To investigate the issue, Lisa Hines, ScD, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs led a study that considered how established breast cancer risk factorsincluding reproductive history, family history of breast cancer, menstrual history, hormone use, alcohol consumption, physical activity, height, and body mass indexmight be involved in explaining some of the observed differences in the occurrence of breast cancer among racial and ethnic groups. They studied breast cancer among women from the Southwest United States who were enrolled in the population-based, case-control 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study, which was designed to investigate factors that contribute to the difference in breast cancer incidence rates observed between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women.

Prior studies have shown that non-Hispanic white women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than Hispanic women. In this current study, the researchers found that 62 percent to 75 percent of breast cancer cases among non-Hispanic white women were attributed to known breast cancer risk factors, compared with only 7 to 36 percent of cases among Hispanic women. Hispanic women were more likely to have characteristics associated with lower breast cancer risk, such as earlier age at first childbirth, having more children, shorter height, less hormone use, and less alcohol consumption. Among premenopausal women, taller height and family history of breast cancer were associated with inc
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Contact: Claire Greenwell
claire.greenwell@cancer.org
404-417-5883
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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