Cancer rates among Hispanic/Latino Americans

Figure 1.

“In 2012, about 112,800 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed among Hispanics. According to these estimates, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic men will be prostate (29%), followed by cancers of the colorectum (11%) and lung and bronchus (9%) (Fig. 1). The most common cancers among Hispanic women will be those of the breast (29%), colorectum (8%), and thyroid (8%). [Siegel]”

Race, Genetics, and Health in my opinion are all well interconnected but before my reasoning, I would like to highlight when I mention race I talk about the social-culture aspect of race and not the misleading view that race is existent through biological definition. Now each of these (race, genetics, health) are all aspects of within each other, genetically (biologically) we do inherent the pigmentation and  characteristics that belong to a certain “race” but our “race” should never be defined by these slight biological differences but more on what Gravlee’s article mentioned that race is “a culturally structured, systematic way of looking at, perceiving, and interpreting reality”. It’s this vital distinction that many researchers have ignored and thus lead to misleading research about the health of radicalized groups, “social inequalities shape the biology of radicalized groups and embodied inequalities perpetuate a radicalized view of human biology (Gravlee et al.). This can clearly be seen with the production and research on the drug BiDil. A drug made for specifically African American population for medicating congestive heart failure, although when research was done for the drug, they never used the drug on a different control  population or “race”. They merely ran a placebo group against the African American group and compared the study, but obviously drugs are not selective on slight biological differences if they work on one group of human beings they will work most of the time on the rest of human beings (excluding mutations of course). Although there are differences in “race” when determining treatments for patients, researchers should look at socioeconomic status, health behaviors, psychosocial stress, and social structure and cultural context (Gravlee). Not the subtle superficial differences that have mislead many studies thus far.

I chose Cancer rates among Latino Americans although Latinos have a lower incidence rate for the 4 most common cancers (breast, prostate, colorectum, lung) Latino’s “have higher incidence and mortality rates for cancers of the stomach, liver, uterine cervix, and gallbladder”(Siegel). I think that is because many Latinos work low income jobs in factories and farms where they are constantly exposed to cancer causing agents or ingested pesticides from the farms. Also could be for low amount of screening for health issues because it may be that many feel sick but due to fear will not consult a physician.


Source: Rebecca Siegel MPH, Deepa Naishadam MA MS, Ahmedin Jemal DVM PhD. “Cancer Statistics for Hispanics/Latinos, 2012”. A Cancer journal for Clinicians September 2012. volume 62, issue 5, pgs. 283-298. [online] Link:


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