Breast Cancer Mortality Varies By Latina Subgroups Interview with:

Bijon Hunt Epidemiologist photographed for Sinai Health System on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Randy Belice

Bijon Hunt

Bijou R. Hunt,  MA
Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System
Chicago, IL What is the background for this study?

Response: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Hispanic women, as well as the leading cause of cancer death for this group. Research has shown that there are differences by Hispanic subgroup in various causes of death, including cancer, but we haven’t seen data on breast cancer specifically among Hispanic subgroups. The most important question we wanted to address with this study was: do breast cancer prevalence and mortality vary by Hispanic subgroup? What are the main findings?

Response: We found that breast cancer prevalence did not vary by Hispanic subgroup, but mortality did. The highest breast cancer mortality rates were observed among Puerto Ricans (19.0 per 100,000 women), Mexicans (18.8), and Cubans (17.9), and the lowest rates were observed among Central and South Americans (10.2). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For health providers these findings can increase their understanding of the ways Hispanic women of different subgroups are experiencing this disease. This knowledge has the potential to greatly impact the way interventions are tailored to specific groups. Hispanic women should know that breast cancer is a disease that effects women from all backgrounds and walks of life. It doesn’t discriminate based on race or country of origin. Knowing as much as you can about this disease and the risk factors that may affect you, is a step everyone can take. The more we know about how breast cancer is impacting the Hispanic community, the better we can be at developing interventions and treatment plans that are tailored, informed and culturally aware. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: More research is needed to determine why these disparities in mortality rates exist. The differences could be attributed to a wide number of factors – genetics, lifestyle, diet, as well as differences in access to screening, treatment and care. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Hunt BR. Breast Cancer Prevalence and Mortality among Hispanic Subgroups in the United States, 2009–2013. Journal of Cancer Epidemiology. 2016;2016:8784040. doi:10.1155/2016/8784040.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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