Friday, February 6, 2009

Hispanic Women Face Multiple Threat of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer in Mexican and Mexican-American women is likely to be
• detected at a later stage, leading to higher grade tumors; 
• triple-negative breast cancer, which is more aggressive. 

Mexican and Mexican-American women are also likely to have a family history of breast cancer, suggesting the BRCA gene mutation. 

This comes from preliminary results of a study led by Elena Martinez, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona and Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson and presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference in Arizona. 

Of the 652 women in the study—309 living in the United States and 343 in Mexico—

• Only 22 percent reported that their cancers were found by mammography; the rest were found by palpable lumps, which often means a more advanced form of cancer.
• 28.1% of Mexican women and 19.3% among Mexican-Americans were diagnosed with triple-negative—Estrogen-negative, progesterone-negative and Her2-negative.
• most were overweight, with  high body-mass-indexes.

The limitation of this information:  

• the study has yet to be published—information was presented as an abstract only;
• the sample size was small;
• the sample did not include women without breast cancer for comparison.

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