Death rates from certain cancers increased in Hispanic men and women from 1999 to 2020, while the rest of the population experienced a decline in those same types of cancer, per a JAMA Oncology study.
Access to healthcare plays a significant role in cancer being the leading cause of death among Hispanics, despite lower cancer incidence.
The study, conducted by Massachusetts General Cancer Center, revealed an overall 1.3% annual decrease in cancer mortality for Hispanics.
However, Hispanic men saw a significant 1% yearly increase in liver cancer deaths. Hispanic women also experienced rising death rates from liver, pancreatic, and uterine cancer.
In the 25-34 age group, Hispanic men had a 0.7% yearly increase in death rates, particularly for colorectal and testicular cancer, from 2003 to 2020.
Disparities in healthcare access and treatment contribute to the physical and mental health challenges faced by Hispanics, as highlighted by the CDC.
Occupations with higher health risks and poor access to quality medical care are significant drivers of disparities among Hispanics.
Language or cultural differences also pose challenges in navigating the healthcare system, and Hispanics are more likely to be uninsured compared to other groups.
Hispanic patients often receive cancer diagnoses at advanced stages, leading to poorer survival rates, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Underrepresentation in cancer clinical trials further hinders tailored treatment for Hispanic Americans, who comprise a smaller percentage of trial participants than their population share.
Senior study author Sophia Kamran emphasizes the need for targeted cancer research, education, and treatments specifically tailored to the Hispanic population to address the disparities and provide optimal care.