Cancer now No. 1 killer of U.S. Hispanics
Although the death rate has been declining since 2000, cancer is now the leading cause of death for U.S. Hispanics.
September 17th, 2012
01:27 PM ET

Cancer now No. 1 killer of U.S. Hispanics

By Dr. Otis Brawley, Special to CNN

Editor's note: CNN conditions expert Dr. Otis Webb Brawley is the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, a world-renowned cancer expert and a practicing oncologist. He is also the author of the book "How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America."

(CNN) - Cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, according to an American Cancer Society report released Monday.

Every three years since 2000, scientists at the cancer society have published Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos. Such studies provide data that help develop an efficient science-based cancer control plan.

Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States. Approximately 16.3% of America's population (50.5 million out of 310 million people) is Hispanic. It is estimated that 112,800 people of Hispanic ethnicity will be diagnosed with cancer and 33,200 will die of the disease in 2012.

The finding is due in part to the younger age distribution of Hispanics. Approximately one in 10 Hispanics is age 55 or over, compared to one in three non-Hispanics.

Among non-Hispanic whites and African-Americans, heart disease remains the leading cause of death, according to Monday's American Cancer Society report, the fifth.

While cancer is the most common cause of death for all three populations under the age of 85, there are fewer Hispanics in the United States over the age of 85, where heart disease is predominant.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Jack-Me-And-Tap-Me-Good

    Oh this isn't good.

    October 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Hmm, I would have guessed dehydration.

    September 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The Last American

    The way i see it we all are going to die . When its your time theres nothing you can do about it , Injoy the time you have and dont worry about it .

    September 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Divided States of America

    Farm workers life expectancy is under 50. Being around all those pesticides from dawn to dusk 7 days a week year after year and passing the crap onto their children, mothers with intoxicating breast milk, etc. A lot of cancer is hereditary, but a lot of it is caused by the environment around you. Working in the fields is probably no less dangerous than working around asbestos, lead paint, and mold spores without wearing the proper protective equipment, of which field workers have no access.

    September 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ronaldo reagan

    This article fails to provide good research analytics. What percentage of hispanics have cancer in relation to other ethnicities? Distribution by age group? How about some trend data by cancer type? This article reminds me of a 7th grader doing a book report. Don't just make a conclusive statement based on a 'he said/ she said' - provide your reasoning with verifiable data.

    September 21, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. thedarkelf

    This is the example of why we need to deport and arm our boarder. Think about the cost to the American tax payer.We already have for welfare,and medical,dental,eye,food,shelter,etc etc etc Prisons and that whole side. Im pretty sure that the majority of the money spent is coming out of White American taxes. When do we take care of the people who are Born Americans. When do we close the doors to any immigration, If we take all the money the government spends on helping other countries,and war every American can live well. We can all have a place to live a job. All the things that the people here deserve. Fact is all us Americans whos family has been here a few generation deserve to be counted first and be able to live well. We dont need one more mouth to feed or medical bill to pay for some foreign invader who want to exploit us

    Every three years since 2000, scientists at the cancer society have published Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos. Such studies provide data that help develop an efficient science-based cancer control plan.

    Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States. Approximately 16.3% of America's population (50.5 million out of 310 million people) is Hispanic. It is estimated that 112,800 people of Hispanic ethnicity will be diagnosed with cancer and 33,200 will die of the disease in 2012.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Carlo

      You don't present yourself as well educated. Most hispanics in this nation are "legal", which by the way, was not the focus of this article. It amazes me that whenever the term "Hispanic" is used, people like yourself (Which by the way, I can tell you're white) have to present your ideologies of why you're a bigot. Not all US citizens are white, please remember that. I was born in Mexico, yet I have the same amount of rights as you do due to me living in the US and being a US citizen. That is what America is all about. We all start from somewhere.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      darkelf, why don't you put your money where your mouth is? Go try and knock on a door to deport a New Mexican or one of us New York Hispanics who has been here forever on his green card or native birth certificate on your own, see how you'll be greeted with a Smith & Wesson or a Mossberg up your nose, and be arrested by the cops afterwards.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      Well said.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • grell john

      your a cold human being.what have hispanic people done to you.thats why this country is in such distress.all the hate people like you have towards people of different ethnicity.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Lidia Munoz

      The article doesn't say illigal immigrants, it mentions hispanics. Thedarkelf, you are such an ignorant, racist animal, you have no heart. There are hispanics living in this country for centuries just as well as your ancestors came from other country.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Let's excuse for a minute that many of the US born Hispanics have never known another home. As a matter of fact, this was home and then the border moved. This article is not about illegal immigration. There are many in this country that have been citizens longer than you've been alive.

      Your response is what is wrong with the viewpoint of a small minority of ignorant people. Sealing borders will not help American Hispanics combat cancer. Doesn't it suck to be so hateful? I would hate to have to attend so many burn crossing ceremonies.

      September 22, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Frederico

    It could be diet. We need more organic fruits and vegetables. Maybe some carrot/spinach juice everyday will help prevent it.

    September 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronaldo reagan

      You must belong to the 47% of Obama's Klan– Romney also referred to trailer trash,illiterate and ignorant in that category. Reality check for you buddy.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. cacique

    I would have liked a note on the kind of cancer affecting us. Was it lung? Prostate? Skin? Cervix? You know a bit more information...Are males more affected than females? Can they say that the different cancers could occupational-related?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Peter H

    Whats with the ethnic dividing...? Cancer is a horrible disease and everybody gets it. Both of my parents died from it and of the people whom I knew have passed away, all went from cancer.

    Its in the foods we eat, ever look at the ingredients? Do you know what pyridoxine hydrochloride is? Shop by reading the labels folks and buy locally (farmers markets). Your food IS your medicine...

    September 19, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jorge

    Actually, as an American of Hispanic descent, I'd like the scientific community to find more answers to this illness for ALL people of the world, not just Hispanics, or Anglos, or Blacks, or...

    September 19, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan I

      It's not as if they aren't focusing on cancer in general. But seeing rising rates of cancer in one group while not in another can lead to understanding risk factors and causes. Does the culture with rising rates eat certain things more than others? Do they lack certain vitamins more than others? Do they engage in certain activities more than others?

      September 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joepub

    Criticisms have to be passed down from the Justice Department through Media Matters and then passed onto CNN.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 36almost37

    If the hispanics would stay where they came from in Mexico... instead of moving here to U.S.A. they wouldn't be eating and getting exposed to all of the cancerous things here in America. Problem solved! There is always some new find on the news that causes cancer. Everyone and anyone can get cancer. Cancer has no preferences on race or religion, child or adult. I am a survivor of childhood cancer ALL.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syed

      There is a great deal of confusion about what canecr actually is! I've been studying Natural Cancer Cures since 2009, and have discovered that canecr, along with just about all diseases is caused by OXYGEN DEFICIENCY in various parts of our bodies. When our bodies experience a 60% or more deficiency in the level of oxygen needed for optimum health, our normal cells automatically TRANSFORM themselves into Cancer cells for SURVIVAL and grow rapidly!YourNaturalCancerCures

      October 15, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      Almost, within your uninformed comment there IS some truth. Cancer is rising within the ranks of Hispanics in the U.S., some of the factors being what you just said. Not all Hispanics are crossovers from Mexico, though, many of us are Cuban, South American or Puerto Rican who were BORN American citizens...just so you know.

      September 19, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Puerto Rican

      Not all hispanics are from Mexico. There are hispanics that are from Cuba, Puerto Rico, South America, Central America.

      September 26, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. char

    From a scientific point of view, these statistics might shed some light on the actual cause of cancer. If they can examine the data closely behind this group by most common occupation types, working/living environment, diet, etc. Perhaps we might find patterns that give us more answers to the root cause of this dreadful illness and hopefully discover a cure.

    September 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. serana

    Perfect health, wealth.peace of mind and happiness for those who follow our Creator's law. Most people do not realize who God really is – God is running everything, down from the smallest atom to the largest heavenly galaxy. No disease, starvation, chaos in god's kingdom, only in Satan's temporary dominion to prove his incompetence and those who put power in others beside God.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Auth

      I wanna punch these newscasters in the face. A sick man not beivileng he is sick isn't heroic. Someone who can face their fears and their setbacks without letting it change them is heroic. He's just in denial.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      As a scientist I can confirm this... Christians don't get cancer. Fact.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Klowiepowie

      My aunt died of cancer and she was a wonderful religious woman with a joyful spirit. The way I'm look at it, I'm glad God has her in His arms. To tell non-worse can happen to Christians.. in this life is naive.

      September 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Noname

    Delightful irony? Wow! that's very cold blooded. How can you find it delightful that your fellow Americans are dying of cancer? You do know they were talking about US citizens right? Not illegal aliens.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shichich

      You know Noname we have animals posing as humans on this planet. As long as they are n't personally affected they think its ok to say nasty things about others. ignore them until reality hits them some day

      September 19, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |