Cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos, who represent the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States, accounting for 17.4% (55.4 million/318 million) of the total US population in 2014. Every 3 years, the American Cancer Society reports on cancer statistics for Hispanics based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Among Hispanics in 2015, there will be an estimated 125,900 new cancer cases diagnosed and 37,800 cancer deaths. For all cancers combined, Hispanics have 20% lower incidence rates and 30% lower death rates compared with non-Hispanic whites (NHWs); however, death rates are slightly higher among Hispanics during adolescence (aged 15-19 years). Hispanic cancer rates vary by country of origin and are generally lowest in Mexicans, with the exception of infection-associated cancers. Liver cancer incidence rates in Hispanic men, which are twice those in NHW men, doubled from 1992 to 2012; however, rates in men aged younger than 50 years declined by 43% since 2003, perhaps a bellwether of future trends for this highly fatal cancer. Variations in cancer risk between Hispanics and NHWs, as well as between subpopulations, are driven by differences in exposure to cancer-causing infectious agents, rates of screening, and lifestyle patterns. Strategies for reducing cancer risk in Hispanic populations include increasing the uptake of preventive services (eg, screening and vaccination) and targeted interventions to reduce obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption.
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