The risk of developing invasive breast cancer in Hispanic women : a look across Hispanic subgroups

Cancer. 2013 Apr 1;119(7):1373-80. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27896. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


Background: Current evidence on breast cancer among US Hispanic women indicates a significant public health threat, although few studies have assessed the heterogeneity in breast cancer risk among Hispanics of different origin.

Methods: The 2000 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Modules were used to examine the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT) 5-year risk and lifetime risk of invasive breast cancer among Mexican/Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban/Cuban American, Dominican (Republic), Central/South American, Other Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women ages 35 to 84 years. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare the BCRAT 5-year and lifetime breast cancer risk between 1) Hispanics and NHWs and 2) Hispanic subgroups.

Results: Hispanic women had significantly lower mean BCRAT 5-year and lifetime breast cancer risk compared with NHW women (P < .001). Among Hispanic subgroups, Cuban/Cuban Americans had a higher BCRAT 5-year risk (P < .05), whereas Dominicans had a higher lifetime risk (P < .001) compared with Mexican/Mexican Americans. Approximately 2.6% of Hispanic women were at high risk for breast cancer (BCRAT 5-year risk ≥1.67%), ranging from 1% of Central/South Americans to 3.7% of Puerto Ricans; few Hispanics (0.2%) had a lifetime risk ≥20%.

Conclusions: The current findings indicate that Hispanic women have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer compared with NHW women, although the risk according to BCRAT differed significantly between specific Hispanic subgroups. We provide estimates of the number of US Hispanic women from six subgroups who may be eligible for prophylactic breast cancer chemoprevention. The authors concluded that future studies should further investigate the heterogeneity in breast cancer risk and risk factors between Hispanic women of different origins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Cuba / ethnology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Puerto Rico / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Factors