FREMONT, CA - Thirty-year-old Pedro Espinosa's chances of developing liver cancer just skyrocketed. Born in the United States and of Hispanic descent, Pedro falls into a category of men in California whose liver cancer rates have nearly doubled over the past two decades, according to a recent study.
Scientists at the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) have found that rates of liver cancer in US-born Hispanic men in California have increased by 87%, according to a recent 16-year span of statewide cancer registry data. These men are at a significantly higher risk of liver cancer than California Hispanic men born outside of the United States. Liver cancer risk is also higher among both Hispanic males and females in more ethnically isolated and lower income areas of the state.
The results of this study, which is the first to examine liver cancer rates by neighborhood acculturation level and socioeconomic status, were recently published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
"California Health Interview Survey data show that levels of obesity and alcohol abuse are higher in US-born than foreign-born Hispanic men. The next steps are to find out what other liver cancer risk factors differ by birthplace, and then develop ways to target those factors especially in US-born Hispanic men to lower their risk of liver cancer," said CPIC Research Scientist Ellen Chang, Sc.D., who led the study.
About the Cancer Prevention Institute of California
The Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) is the nation's premier organization dedicated to preventing cancer and to reducing its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. Formerly known as the Northern California Cancer Center, CPIC tracks patterns of cancer throughout the entire population and identifies those at risk for developing cancer. Its research scientists are leaders in investigating the causes of cancer in large populations to advance the development of prevention-focused interventions. CPIC's innovative cancer prevention research and cancer education and community partnership programs, together with the Stanford Cancer Center, deliver a comprehensive arsenal for defeating cancer.