Variability in Cancer Risk and Outcomes Within US Latinos by National Origin and Genetic Ancestry

Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2016:3:181-190. doi: 10.1007/s40471-016-0083-7. Epub 2016 Jun 30.


Latinos have lower rates for most common cancer sites and higher rates of some less common cancers (gallbladder, liver, gastric, and cervical) than other ethnic/racial groups. Latinos are a highly heterogeneous population with diverse national origins, unique genetic admixture patterns, and wide spectrum of socio-demographic characteristics. Across the major cancers (breast, colorectal, prostate, lung, and liver) US-born Latinos have higher incidence and worse survival than foreign-born, and those with low-socioeconomic status have the lowest incidence. Puerto Rican and Cuban Latinos have higher incidence rates than Mexican Latinos. We have identified the following themes as understudied and critical to reduce the cancer burden among US Latinos: (1) etiological studies considering key sources of heterogeneity, (2) culturally sensitive cancer prevention strategies, (3) description of the molecular tumor landscape to guide treatments and improve outcomes, and (4) development of prediction models of disease risk and outcomes accounting for heterogeneity of Latinos.

Keywords: Cancer; Hispanic; Latino.

Publication types

  • Review