Malignancies of the lymphoid cells, including non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs), Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and multiple myeloma (MM), occur at much lower rates in Asians than other racial/ethnic groups in the United States (US). It remains unclear whether these deficits are explained by genetic or environmental factors. To better understand environmental contributions, we examined incidence patterns of lymphoid malignancies among populations characterized by ethnicity, birthplace, and residential neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnic enclave status.
We obtained data regarding all Asian patients diagnosed with lymphoid malignancies between 1988 and 2004 from the California Cancer Registry and neighborhood characteristics from US Census data.
While incidence rates of most lymphoid malignancies were lower among Asian than white populations, only follicular lymphoma (FL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), and nodular sclerosis (NS) HL rates were statistically significantly lower among foreign-born than US-born Asians, with incidence rate ratios ranging from 0.34 to 0.87. Rates of CLL/SLL and NS HL were also lower among Asian women living in ethnic enclaves or lower-SES neighborhoods than those living elsewhere. Conclusions: These observations support strong roles of environmental factors in the causation of FL, CLL/SLL, and NS HL.
Studying specific lymphoid malignancies in US Asians may provide valuable insight towards understanding their environmental causes.
lymphoid malignancies; Asians; immigration; environmental causes
Research on neighborhoods and health has been growing. However, studies have not investigated the association of specific neighborhood measures, including socioeconomic and built environments, with cancer incidence or outcomes. We developed the California Neighborhoods Data System (CNDS), an integrated system of small area-level measures of socioeconomic and built environments for California, which can be readily linked to individual-level geocoded records. The CNDS includes measures such as socioeconomic status, population density, racial residential segregation, ethnic enclaves, distance to hospitals, walkable destinations, and street connectivity. Linking the CNDS to geocoded cancer patient information from the California Cancer Registry, we demonstrate the variability of CNDS measures by neighborhood socioeconomic status and predominant race/ethnicity for the 7,049 California census tracts, as well as by patient race/ethnicity. The CNDS represents an efficient and cost-effective resource for cancer epidemiology and control. It expands our ability to understand the role of neighborhoods with regard to cancer incidence and outcomes. Used in conjunction with cancer registry data, these additional contextual measures enable the type of transdisciplinary, “cells-to-society” research that is now being recognized as necessary for addressing population disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes.
Neighborhood; Socioeconomic environment; Built environment; Immigration; Contextual factors; GIS
Asians and Hispanics have the highest incidence rates of liver cancer in the US, but little is known about how incidence patterns in these largely immigrant populations vary by nativity, acculturation, and socioeconomic status (SES). Such variations can identify high-priority subgroups for prevention and monitoring.
Incidence rates and rate ratios (IRRs) by nativity among 5,400 Hispanics and 5,809 Asians diagnosed with liver cancer in 1988–2004 were calculated in the California Cancer Registry. Neighborhood ethnic enclave status and SES were classified using 2000 US Census data for cases diagnosed in 1998–2002.
Foreign-born Hispanic males had significantly lower liver cancer incidence rates than US-born Hispanic males in 1988–2004 (e.g., IRR=0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.50–0.59), whereas foreign-born Hispanic females had significantly higher rates in 1988–1996 (IRR=1.42, 95% CI=1.18–1.71), but not 1997–2004. Foreign-born Asian males and females had up to 5-fold higher rates than the US-born. Among Hispanic females, incidence rates were elevated by 21% in higher-enclave versus lower-enclave neighborhoods, and by 24% in lower- versus higher-SES neighborhoods. Among Asian males, incidence rates were elevated by 23% in higher-enclave neighborhoods and by 21% in lower-SES neighborhoods. In both racial/ethnic populations, males and females in higher-enclave, lower-SES neighborhoods had higher incidence rates.
Nativity, residential enclave status, and neighborhood SES characterize Hispanics and Asians with significantly unequal incidence rates of liver cancer, implicating behavioral or environmental risk factors and revealing opportunities for prevention.
Liver cancer control efforts should especially target foreign-born Asians, US-born Hispanic men, and residents of lower-SES ethnic enclaves.
Population-based cancer registration, mandated throughout the United States, is central to quantifying the breadth and impact of cancer. It facilitates research to learn what causes cancer to develop and, in many cases, lead to death. However, as concerns about privacy increase, cancer registration has come under question. Recently, its constitutionality was challenged on the basis of 1) the vagueness of statutory aims to pursue public health versus the individual privacy interests of cancer patients, and 2) the alleged indignity of one's individual medical information being transmitted to government authorities. Examining cancer registry statutes in states covered by the US National Cancer Institute's SEER Program and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Program of Cancer Registries, we found that cancer registration laws do state specific public health benefits, and offer reasonable limits and safeguards on the government's possession of private medical information. Thus, we argue that cancer registration would survive constitutional review, is compatible with the civil liberties protected by privacy rights in the U.S., satisfies the conditions that justify public health expenditures, and serves human rights to enjoy the highest attainable standards of health, the advances of science, and the benefits of government efforts to prevent and control disease.
cancer registries; constitutionality; privacy; population-based epidemiology; health surveillance; USA
We investigated heterogeneity in ethnic composition and immigrant status among US Asians as an explanation for disparities in breast cancer survival.
We enhanced data from the California Cancer Registry and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program through linkage and imputation to examine the effect of immigrant status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and ethnic enclave on mortality among Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1988 to 2005 and followed through 2007.
US-born women had similar mortality rates in all Asian ethnic groups except the Vietnamese, who had lower mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]=0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.1, 0.9). Except for Japanese women, all foreign-born women had higher mortality than did US-born Japanese, the reference group. HRs ranged from 1.4 (95% CI=1.2, 1.7) among Koreans to 1.8 (95% CI=1.5, 2.2) among South Asians and Vietnamese. Little of this variation was explained by differences in disease characteristics.
Survival after breast cancer is poorer among foreign- than US-born Asians. Research on underlying factors is needed, along with increased awareness and targeted cancer control.
Survival after Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is generally favorable, but may vary by patient demographic characteristics. The authors examined HL survival according to race/ethnicity and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), determined from residential census block group at diagnosis. For 12,492 classical HL patients ≥15 years diagnosed in California during 1988-2006 and followed through 2007, we determined risk of overall and HL-specific death using Cox proportional hazards regression; analyses were stratified by age and Ann Arbor stage. Irrespective of disease stage, patients with lower neighborhood SES had worse overall and HL-specific survival than patients with higher SES. Patients with the lowest quintile of neighborhood SES had a 64% (patients aged 15-44 years) and 36% (≥45 years) increased risk of HL-death compared to patients with the highest quintile of SES; SES results were similar for overall survival. Even after adjustment for neighborhood SES, blacks and Hispanics had increased risks of HL-death 74% and 43% (15-44 years) and 40% and 17% (≥45 years), respectively, higher than white patients. The racial/ethnic differences in survival were evident for all stages of disease. These data provide evidence for substantial, and probably remediable, racial/ethnic and neighborhood SES disparities in HL outcomes.
Hodgkin disease; survival; mortality; social class; census
In the US, foreign-born Hispanics tend to live in socioeconomic conditions typically associated with later stage of breast cancer diagnosis, yet they have lower breast cancer mortality rates than their US-born counterparts. We evaluated the impact of nativity (US- versus foreign-born), neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and Hispanic enclave (neighborhoods with high proportions of Hispanics or Hispanic immigrants) on breast cancer stage at diagnosis and survival among Hispanics.
We studied 37,695 Hispanic women diagnosed from 1988 to 2005 with invasive breast cancer from the California Cancer Registry. Nativity was based on registry data or, if missing, imputed from case Social Security number. Neighborhood variables were developed from Census data. Stage at diagnosis was analyzed with logistic regression, and survival, based on vital status determined through 2007, was analyzed with Cox proportional hazards regression.
Compared to US-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics were more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of breast cancer (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.14, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-1.20), but they had a somewhat lower risk of breast cancer specific death (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.90-0.99). Living in low SES and high enclave neighborhoods was associated with advanced stage of diagnosis, while living in a lower SES neighborhood, but not Hispanic enclave, was associated with worse survival.
Identifying the modifiable factors that facilitate this survival advantage in Hispanic immigrants could help to inform specific interventions to improve survival in this growing population.
Documentation of language usage in medical settings could be effective in identifying and addressing language barriers and would improve understanding of health disparities.
This study evaluated the availability and accuracy of medical records information on language for 1,664 cancer patients likely to have poor English proficiency. Accuracy was assessed by comparison to language obtained from interview-based research studies.
For patients diagnosed at facilities where information on language was not abstracted electronically, 81.6% had language information in their medical records, most often in admissions documents. For all 37 hospitals, agreement between medical records and interview language was 79.3% overall and was greater for those speaking English than another language.
Language information is widely available in hospital medical records of cancer patients. However, for the data to be useful for research and reducing language barriers in medical care, the information must be collected in a consistent and accurate manner.
cancer; language; epidemiology; medical record
To evaluate the availability of body height and weight in the hospital medical record of cancer patients and discuss the utility of the findings to population-based cancer research and the surveillance of overweight and obesity in the United States.
Medical records were reviewed for up to three measures of height and weight for a random sample of 1,739 patients diagnosed (2001–2003) with one of 12 types of cancer and reported to the population-based Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry of Northern California.
84% of cancer patients had at least one value of height, 91% had at least one value of weight, and 83% had both values recorded in the medical record such that body mass index (BMI) could be computed. 60% of height and weight values were recorded within two months of cancer diagnosis, with most values (71%) recorded after cancer diagnosis. The availability of BMI varied somewhat by race/ethnicity, cancer site, initial treatment, and hospital characteristics.
BMI may be sufficiently available to be included routinely in population-based cancer registries, and, if so, would be useful for studies of cancer diagnoses and outcomes and permit nationwide surveillance of BMI in a large population-representative cohort of cancer patients.
body mass index; body weight; body height; cancer; surveillance
To establish baseline data for lymphoid neoplasm incidence by subtype for six Asian-American ethnic groups.
Incident rates were estimated by age and sex for six Asian ethnic groups—Asian Indian/Pakistani, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese— in five United States cancer registry areas during 1996–2004. For comparison, rates for non-Hispanic Whites were also estimated.
During 1996–2004, Filipinos had the highest (24.0) and Koreans had the lowest incidence (12.7) of total lymphoid neoplasms. By subtype, Vietnamese and Filipinos had the highest incidence for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (8.0 and 7.2); Japanese had the highest incidence of follicular lymphoma (2.3). Although a general male predominance of lymphoid neoplasms was observed, this pattern varied by lymphoid neoplasm subtype. Whites generally had higher rates than all Asian ethnic groups for all lymphoid neoplasms and most lymphoma subtypes, although the magnitude of the difference varied by both ethnicity and lymphoma subtype.
The observed variations in incidence patterns among Asian ethnic groups in the United States suggest that it may be fruitful to pursue studies that compare Asian populations for postulated environmental and genetic risk factors.
Lymphoid neoplasms; Asians
No previous U.S. study has examined time trends in the incidence rate of liver cancer in the high-risk Asian/Pacific Islander population. We evaluated liver cancer incidence trends in Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese males and females in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area of California between 1990 and 2004.
Populations at risk were estimated using the cohort component demographic method. Annual percentage changes (APCs) in age-adjusted incidence rates of primary liver cancer among Asians/Pacific Islanders in the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were calculated using joinpoint regression analysis.
The incidence rate of liver cancer between 1990 and 2004 did not change significantly in Asian/Pacific Islander males or females overall. However, the incidence rate declined, albeit statistically non-significantly, in Chinese males (APC =−1.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) =−3.4%, 0.3%], Japanese males (APC = −4.9%, 95% CI =−10.7%, 1.2%), and Japanese females (APC =−3.6%, 95% CI =−8.9%, 2.0%). Incidence rates remained consistently high for Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino males and females. Trends in the incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma were comparable to those for liver cancer. While disparities in liver cancer incidence between Asians/Pacific Islanders and other racial/ethnic groups diminished between 1990–1994 and 2000–2004, those among Asian subgroups increased.
Liver cancer continues to affect Asian/Pacific Islander Americans disproportionately, with consistently high incidence rates in most subgroups. Culturally targeted prevention methods are needed to reduce the high rates of liver cancer in this growing population in the U.S.
Asian Americans; epidemiology; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cancer; surveillance
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in the tumor cells of some but not all Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients, and evidence indicates that EBV-positive and –negative HL are distinct entities. Racial/ethnic variation in EBV-positive HL in international comparisons suggests etiologic roles for environmental and genetic factors, but these studies used clinical series and evaluated EBV presence by differing protocols. Therefore, we evaluated EBV presence in the tumors of a large (n=1,032), racially and sociodemographically diverse series of California incident classical HL cases with uniform pathology re-review and EBV detection methods. Tumor EBV-positivity was associated with Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) but not black race/ethnicity, irrespective of demographic and clinical factors. Complex race-specific associations were observed between EBV-positive HL and age, sex, histology, stage, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), and birth place. In Hispanics, EBV-positive HL was associated not only with young and older age, male sex, and mixed cellularity histology, but also with foreign birth and lower SES in females, suggesting immune function responses to correlates of early childhood experience and later environmental exposures, respectively, as well as of pregnancy. For APIs, a lack of association with birth place may reflect the higher SES of API than Hispanic immigrants. In blacks, EBV-positive HL was associated with later-stage disease, consistent with racial/ethnic variation in certain cytokine polymorphisms. The racial/ethnic variation in our findings suggests that EBV-positive HL results from an intricate interplay of early- and later-life environmental, hormonal, and genetic factors leading to depressed immune function and poorly controlled EBV infection.
Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; racial/ethnic variation; epidemiology
Unprecedented declines in invasive breast cancer rates occurred in the United States between 2001 and 2004, particularly for estrogen receptor-positive tumors among non-Hispanic white women over 50 years. To understand the broader public health import of these reductions among previously unstudied populations, we utilized the largest available US cancer registry resource to describe age-adjusted invasive and in situ breast cancer incidence trends for non-Hispanic white women aged 50 to 74 years overall and by county-level rural/urban and poverty status.
We obtained invasive and in situ breast cancer incidence data for the years 1997 to 2004 from 29 population-based cancer registries participating in the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries resource. Annual age-adjusted rates were examined overall and by rural/urban and poverty of patients' counties of residence at diagnosis. Joinpoint regression was used to assess trends by annual quarter of diagnosis.
Between 2001 and 2004, overall invasive breast cancer incidence fell 13.2%, with greater reductions among women living in urban (-13.8%) versus rural (-7.5%) and low- (-13.0%) or middle- (-13.8%) versus high- (-9.6%) poverty counties. Most incidence rates peaked around 1999 then declined after second quarter 2002, although in rural counties, rates decreased monotonically after 1999. Similar but more attenuated patterns were seen for in situ cancers.
Breast cancer rates fell more substantially in urban and low-poverty, affluent counties than in rural or high-poverty counties. These patterns likely reflect a major influence of reductions in hormone therapy use after July 2002 but cannot exclude possible effects due to screening patterns, particularly among rural populations where hormone therapy use was probably less prevalent.
Historically, the incidence rate of breast cancer among non-Hispanic white women living in the San Francisco Bay area (SFBA) of California has been among the highest in the world. Substantial declines in breast cancer incidence rates have been documented in the United States and elsewhere during recent years. In light of these reports, we examined recent changes in breast cancer incidence and risk factor prevalence among non-Hispanic white women in the SFBA and other regions of California.
Annual age-adjusted breast cancer incidence and mortality rates (1988 to 2004) were obtained from the California Cancer Registry and analyzed using Joinpoint regression. Population-based risk factor prevalences were calculated using two data sources: control subjects from four case-control studies (1989 to 1999) and the 2001 and 2003 California Health Interview Surveys.
In the SFBA, incidence rates of invasive breast cancer increased 1.3% per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7% to 2.0%) in 1988–1999 and decreased 3.6% per year (95% CI, 1.6% to 5.6%) in 1999–2004. In other regions of California, incidence rates of invasive breast cancer increased 0.8% per year (95% CI, 0.4% to 1.1%) in 1988–2001 and decreased 4.4% per year (95% CI, 1.4% to 7.3%) in 2001–2004. In both regions, recent (2000–2001 to 2003–2004) decreases in invasive breast cancer occurred only in women 40 years old or older and in women with all histologic subtypes and tumor sizes, hormone receptor-defined types, and all stages except distant disease. Mortality rates declined 2.2% per year (95% CI, 1.8% to 2.6%) from 1988 to 2004 in the SFBA and the rest of California. Use of estrogen-progestin hormone therapy decreased significantly from 2001 to 2003 in both regions. In 2003–2004, invasive breast cancer incidence remained higher (4.2%) in the SFBA than in the rest of California, consistent with the higher distributions of many established risk factors, including advanced education, nulliparity, late age at first birth, and alcohol consumption.
Ongoing surveillance of breast cancer occurrence patterns in this high-risk population informs breast cancer etiology through comparison of trends with lower-risk populations and by highlighting the importance of examining how broad migration patterns influence the geographic distribution of risk factors.
Estrogen/progestin replacement therapy (EPRT), alcohol consumption, physical activity, and breast-feeding duration differ from other factors associated with breast cancer in being immediately modifiable by the individual, thereby representing attractive targets for future breast cancer prevention efforts. To justify such efforts, it is vital to quantify the potential population-level impacts on breast cancer considering population variations in behavior prevalence, risk estimate, and baseline incidence.
For each of these four factors, we calculated population attributable risk percents (PARs) using population-based survey (2001) and cancer registry data (1998–2002) for 41 subpopulations of white, non-Hispanic California women aged 40–79 years, and ranges of relative risk (RR) estimates from the literature.
Using a single RR estimate, subpopulation PARs ranged from 2.5% to 5.6% for hormone use, from 0.0% to 6.1% for recent consumption of >= 2 alcoholic drinks daily, and 4.6% to 11.0% for physical inactivity. Using a range of RR estimates, PARs were 2–11% for EPRT use, 1–20% for alcohol consumption and 2–15% for physical inactivity. Subpopulation data were unavailable for breastfeeding, but PARs using published RR estimates ranged from 2% to 11% for lifetime breastfeeding >= 31 months. Thus, of 13,019 breast cancers diagnosed annually in California, as many as 1,432 attributable to EPRT use, 2,604 attributable to alcohol consumption, 1,953 attributable to physical inactivity, and 1,432 attributable to never breastfeeding might be avoidable.
The relatively feasible lifestyle changes of discontinuing EPRT use, reducing alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity, and lengthening breastfeeding duration could lower population breast cancer incidence substantially.
Few studies have examined the effect of breast implants after mastectomy on long-term survival in breast cancer patients, despite growing public health concern over potential long-term adverse health effects.
We analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Breast Implant Surveillance Study conducted in San Francisco–Oakland, in Seattle–Puget Sound, and in Iowa. This population-based, retrospective cohort included women younger than 65 years when diagnosed with early or unstaged first primary breast cancer between 1983 and 1989, treated with mastectomy. The women were followed for a median of 12.4 years (n = 4968). Breast implant usage was validated by medical record review. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard rate ratios for survival time until death due to breast cancer or other causes for women with and without breast implants, adjusted for relevant patient and tumor characteristics.
Twenty percent of cases received postmastectomy breast implants, with silicone gel-filled implants comprising the most common type. Patients with implants were younger and more likely to have in situ disease than patients not receiving implants. Risks of breast cancer mortality (hazard ratio, 0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.43–0.67) and nonbreast cancer mortality (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.85) were lower in patients with implants than in those patients without implants, following adjustment for age and year of diagnosis, race/ethnicity, stage, tumor grade, histology, and radiation therapy. Implant type did not appear to influence long-term survival.
In a large, population-representative sample, breast implants following mastectomy do not appear to confer any survival disadvantage following early-stage breast cancer in women younger than 65 years old.
breast implants; epidemiology; mastectomy; Surveillance; Epidemiology; and End Results; survival
Elevated rates of breast cancer in affluent Marin County, California, were first reported in the early 1990s. These rates have since been related to higher regional prevalence of known breast cancer risk factors, including low parity, education, and income. Close surveillance of Marin County breast cancer trends has nevertheless continued, in part because distinctive breast cancer patterns in well-defined populations may inform understanding of breast cancer etiology.
Using the most recent incidence and mortality data available from the California Cancer Registry, we examined rates and trends for 1990–1999 for invasive breast cancer among non-Hispanic, white women in Marin County, in other San Francisco Bay Area counties, and in other urban California counties. Rates were age adjusted to the 2000 US standard, and temporal changes were evaluated with weighted linear regression.
Marin County breast cancer incidence rates between 1990 and 1999 increased 3.6% per year (95% confidence interval, 1.8–5.5), six times more rapidly than in comparison areas. The increase was limited to women aged 45–64 years, in whom rates increased at 6.7% per year (95% confidence interval, 3.8–9.6). Mortality rates did not change significantly in Marin County despite 3–5% yearly declines elsewhere.
Patterns of breast cancer incidence and mortality in Marin County are unlike those in other California counties, and they are probably explained by Marin County's unique sociodemographic characteristics. Similar trends may have occurred in other affluent populations for which available data do not permit annual monitoring of cancer occurrence.
breast neoplasms; incidence; mortality; social class; whites
Differences in incidence, prognosis, and treatment response suggest gene expression patterns may discern breast cancer subtypes with unique risk factor profiles; however, previous results were based predominantly on older women. In this study, we examined similar relationships in women ≤56 years, classified by immunohistochemical staining for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 for 890 breast cancer cases and 3,432 frequency-matched population-based controls. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for tumor subtypes were calculated using multivariate polytomous regression models. A total of 455 (51.1%) tumors were considered luminal A, 72 (8.1%) luminal B, 117 (13.1%) non-luminal HER-2/neu+,and 246 (27.6%) triple negative. Triple negative tumors were associated with breast feeding duration (per 6 months: OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.64–0.90). Among pre-menopausal women, increasing body size was more strongly associated with luminal B (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.07–2.77) and triple negative tumors (OR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.22–2.28). A history of benign breast disease was associated only with increased risk of luminal A tumors (OR = 1.89, 95% CI 1.43–2.50). A family history of breast cancer was a risk factor for luminal A tumors (OR = 1.93, 95% CI 1.38–2.70) regardless of age, and triple negative tumors with higher risks for women <45 (OR = 5.02, 95% CI 2.82–8.92; P for age interaction = 0.005). We found that little-to-no breastfeeding and high BMI were associated with increased risk of triple negative breast cancer. That some risk factors differ by molecular subtypes suggests etiologic heterogeneity in breast carcinogenesis among young women.
Breast cancer; Estrogen receptor; Progesterone receptor; HER2; Risk factors
We estimated trends in breast cancer incidence rates for specific Asian populations in California to determine if disparities exist by immigrant status and age.
To calculate rates by ethnicity and immigrant status, we obtained data for 1998 through 2004 cancer diagnoses from the California Cancer Registry and imputed immigrant status from Social Security Numbers for the 26% of cases with missing birthplace information. Population estimates were obtained from the 1990 and 2000 US Censuses.
Breast cancer rates were higher among US- than among foreign-born Chinese (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.72, 1.96) and Filipina women (IRR = 1.32; 95% CI=1.20, 1.44), but similar between US- and foreign-born Japanese women. US-born Chinese and Filipina women who were younger than 55 years had higher rates than did White women of the same age. Rates increased over time in most groups, as high as 4% per year among foreign-born Korean and US-born Filipina women. From 2000–2004, the rate among US-born Filipina women exceeded that of White women.
These findings challenge the notion that breast cancer rates are uniformly low across Asians and therefore suggest a need for increased awareness, targeted cancer control, and research to better understand underlying factors.