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Targeted strategies needed to find, prevent and treat breast cancer among Mexican-origin women
Date:9/1/2010

HOUSTON - Specific prevention and education strategies are needed to address breast cancer in Mexican-origin women in this country, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, which was published online in the journal Cancer.

Among the Mexican-origin women with breast cancer who were surveyed, half were diagnosed before age 50, years earlier than the national average for non-Hispanic white women. This puts them outside the recently released U.S. Preventive Task Force guidelines that recommend screening, including mammograms, begin at 50 for the general population. The guidelines have been controversial, and MD Anderson opted to continue to recommend screening beginning at age 40.

"Under the revised Task Force guidelines, up to half of Mexican-origin women with breast cancer may be undiagnosed or diagnosed in late stages, possibly increasing disparities in rates of breast cancer mortality," said Patricia Miranda, Ph.D., a Kellogg Health Scholar post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson and the study's lead author. "Hispanic women are not recognized in the guidelines as a high-risk group, and we would like to see that decision revisited."

One-Size-Fits-All Approach Falls Short

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanic women in the United States. Previous studies have shown they are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and 20 percent more likely to die from the cancer than non-Hispanic white women.

Hispanics are the nation's largest and fastest growing minority group. According to the American Community Survey, more than 45 million Hispanics live in this country. By 2050, the population - which has the lowest rate of insurance coverage - is expected to reach 132 million.

"As the new national health care policy is implemented, if a one-size-fits all screening recommendation is implemented as the
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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