(HealthDay News) — Cancer incidence and death rates seem to be declining for Hispanics, but screening use is lower than for non-Hispanic whites, according to two studies published online Sept. 17 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Rebecca Siegel, M.P.H., and colleagues from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, used nationally representative surveys to update cancer incidence data for Hispanics. The researchers estimated that, among Hispanics, 112,800 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2012, and 33,200 cancer deaths will occur. Cancer surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death among Hispanics in 2009. From 2000 to 2009, cancer incidence rates and death rates declined, per year, by 1.7 and 2.3 percent, respectively, for men and by 0.3 and 1.4 percent, respectively, for women. Incidence and death rates were lower for Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites for all cancers combined and for the four most common cancers, but increased incidence and mortality rates were noted for stomach, liver, uterine/cervix, and gallbladder cancers.

Vilma E. Cokkinides, Ph.D., and colleagues from the American Cancer Society, used data from nationally representative surveys to examine the prevalence of major cancer-related risk factors, early detection testing, and vaccination among Hispanics. The researchers found that Hispanic adults were less likely to be current smokers or frequent alcohol drinkers but were more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, Hispanics had lower levels of mammography use within the past year, colorectal cancer screening per recommended intervals, and Papanicolaou test use within the preceding three years.

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“Educational programs and material tailored to Latinos can increase the awareness and use of cancer screening,” Cokkinides and colleagues conclude.

Abstract – Siegel

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Abstract – Cokkinides

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