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Breast Cancer on Rise Among Asian-American Women

Mon Jun 10, 2002

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthScoutNews) -- Breast cancer rates among Asian-American women are on the rise, and Japanese-American women have been hardest hit in that group, says new research.

The study by epidemiologists at the Keck School of Medicine and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Southern California looked at cancer cases reported in the mid-to-late 1990s to the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program.

They found that among Asian women 50 years of age or older, diagnosed breast cancer cases increased about 6.3 percent a year from 1993 to 1997. Among non-Hispanic white women 50 years or older, diagnosed breast cancer cases increased about 1.5 percent a year over the same time, they say.

In 1997, Asian-American women had 78 breast cancer cases per 100,000 women. Non-Hispanic whites had about 129 per 100,000, African-Americans had about 98 per 100,000, and Hispanics about 64 per 100,000, the study says.

When the researchers broke down the Asian-American numbers by national origins, they found that in 1997, Japanese-American women had about 114 breast cancer cases per 100,000 women, Filipinas had about 98 per 100,000, Chinese women had about 51 per 100,000 and Korean women had about 45 per 100,000.

The authors say the trend points out the need to increase awareness among Asian-American women that breast cancer is a serious health hazard for them. While Asian-American women have traditionally had lower-than-average breast cancer risk, that's no longer the case, the authors say.

The study is published in today's issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer

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