Colon cancer risk in US varies by race, ethnicity

In the US population, there is a wide ethnic and racial disparity in the risk of developing advanced-stage Colorectal cancer and of dying from the disease, researchers report in the medical journal Cancer.

Compared with non-Hispanic whites, Puerto Ricans are among those with increased risk and Japanese are among those with decreased risk.

Chloe Chien and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, used 11 population-based cancer registries to evaluate disease stage and mortality in relation to 18 racial and ethnic factors.

The data covered more than 154,000 subjects who were diagnosed with Colorectal cancer between 1988 and 2000.

In comparison with non-Hispanic whites, the team found that blacks, American Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, Hawaiians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and South and Central Americans were from 10 to 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer.

Mortality rates from colorectal cancer were also 20 to 30 percent greater in blacks, American Indians, Hawaiian and Mexicans.

Conversely, Japanese had a 20 percent lower risk of advanced-stage disease. Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Pakistanis had a 20 percent to 40 percent lower mortality risk.

Within some groups, the risks were not clearcut. “We observed numerous differences in the risks of advanced-stage colorectal cancer and mortality across individuals in different Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic white subgroups,” said Chien.

This suggests that it is important to take into account differences within broad racial/ethnic categories when evaluating risks in these populations, Chien said.

Cancer 2005;104.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 14, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD