- Author: Norma De la Vega
According to the scientists, the rising rates of risk factors for liver cancer, such as obesity and chronic hepatitis C infection, may explain the significant increase in liver cancer rates among US-born Hispanic men in California. In addition, higher levels of these risk factors, as well as heavy alcohol consumption among US-born Hispanic men as compared to their foreign-born counterparts, may explain the significant difference in rates between the two groups.California Health Interview Survey data show that levels of obesity and alcohol abuse are higher in US-born than foreign-born Hispanic men. According to the researchers, 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. Such efforts could likely include treatment for alcohol abuse; lifestyle changes to prevent or manage diabetes and obesity, such as getting regular exercise, and improving diet.
The study suggests the need for such measures to be culturally and linguistically tailored to reach Hispanics of lower socioeconomic status and those living in more ethnically concentrated neighborhoods.
Source: Cancer Prevention Institute of California, “Liver cancer rapidly increasing in California Hispanic Men”, February 15, 2011