Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
to the left
Women and Breast Cancer: An understudied
Newswise — Data from the ELLA Binational
Breast Cancer Study will be released for the
first time at the American Association for
Cancer Research Conference on the Science of
Cancer Health Disparities in Carefree,
“Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority
group in the United States, but little is
known about their risk for breast cancer,”
said Elena Martinez, Ph.D., professor of
epidemiology at The University of Arizona
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public
Health and co-leader of the Cancer
Prevention and Control Program at the
Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson.
“The study recruited women who were recently
diagnosed with invasive breast cancer living
in the United States and in Mexico.
hope to understand more about what puts
these women at risk for specific types of
“We are just beginning to scratch the
surface of our understanding of this disease
in Hispanic women, but we are noticing a
difference between Mexican-born Hispanics
and American-born Hispanics,” said Martinez.
#A78. The ELLA Binational Breast Cancer
Study: Risk factor and tumor marker profile
in women of Mexican ancestry.
The first abstract will be presented by
Maria M. Meza-Montenegro, Ph.D., a research
professor at the Instituto Technológico de
Sonora in Mexico, which will outline the
profile of the women who enrolled in the
ELLA Binational Breast Cancer Study.
The researchers have recruited a total of
652 women including 309 in the United States
and 343 in Mexico. Women in Mexico are
significantly older at diagnosis at 53.8
years compared with 48.7 years in the United
Reproductive data showed a similar age at
menarche, menopause and first pregnancy.
However, the number of live births was
higher in Mexico at 3.7 vs. 3.2 in the
Prevalence of family history of breast
cancer was significantly higher in the
United States at 18.1 percent compared with
6.2 percent in Mexico.
Body mass index was similar, and high, in
both groups at an average of about 29.
“This abstract sets the stage for what we
want to talk about because these differences
and similarities could prove to be important
with further research,” said Martinez.
#A55. Breast cancer detection and screening
mammography in Mexican-American women:
Findings from the ELLA Binational Breast
A subsequent abstract, presented by Rachel
Zenuk, a graduate student at The University
of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of
Public Health, suggests that breast cancer
may be more aggressive in Hispanic women
because they are waiting longer to receive
The data show that 67 percent of breast
cancer was found through self detection,
while only 23 percent was found using
screening mammography and six percent
through a clinical examination.
Among Hispanic women born in the United
States, the rate of mammography use was 83
percent compared with 62 percent among women
not born in the United States.
After noticing a change in their breasts, 49
percent of women reported waiting one month
or more to seek medical attention.
The most common reason was that these women
did not have access to insurance or could
not afford medical care.
“Hispanics have the highest levels of lack
of insurance of any minority group, and
because of that they are hesitating to get
the care they need,” said Martinez.
#PR-4. Increased odds of family history for
triple-negative breast cancer in
Mexican-American but not African-American
A final ELLA Binational Breast Cancer Study
abstract, presented by Betsy C. Wertheim,
M.S., an assistant scientific investigator
in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program
at the Arizona Cancer Center, found that
having a family history of breast cancer
increased the risk of triple-negative breast
cancer in Hispanic women but not in
Specifically, if Hispanic women had a family
history of breast cancer they were at
2.2-fold increased risk for triple-negative
These women were also six times more likely
to develop triple-negative breast cancer at
a young age, but no such association was
seen for African-American women.
Wertheim said this risk was confined to
Hispanics who were born in Mexico; no such
increased risk was seen among American-born
“It was driven by geography, so we suspect
that there is some combination of genetics
and environment at play here. What exactly
that is, we can’t really say yet,” said
#PR-5. Breast cancer risk factors in
U.S.-born and foreign-born Hispanic women
from the San Francisco Bay Area.
A final study, the San Francisco Bay Area
Breast Cancer Study, presented by Esther
John, Ph.D., a research scientist and
epidemiologist at the Northern California
Cancer Center, compared known breast cancer
risk factors in foreign-born Hispanic women
and Hispanic women born in the United
Among Hispanic women without breast cancer,
they found that U.S.-born Hispanic women
were more likely to have a family history of
breast cancer, have menarche before age 12,
use hormone replacement therapy, be obese
and consume alcohol.
All of these are known risk factors for
breast cancer. By contrast, foreign-born
Hispanic women without breast cancer had a
larger number of children, a longer duration
of breast feeding, more physical activity
and a higher fiber intake. All of these
factors are known to decrease breast cancer.
“Foreign-born Hispanic women have a lower
risk for breast cancer than U.S.-born
Hispanic women, and differences in
reproductive and lifestyle factors explain
some of the difference in risk, but not all
of it,” said John.
“What is interesting is that over the long
term, foreign-born Hispanic immigrants adopt
behaviors that place them at greater risk
for breast cancer.”
The mission of the American Association for
Cancer Research is to prevent and cure
Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s oldest
and largest professional organization
dedicated to advancing cancer research.
The membership includes more than 28,000
basic, translational and clinical
researchers; health care professionals; and
cancer survivors and advocates in the United
States and 80 other countries.
The AACR marshals the full spectrum of
expertise from the cancer community to
accelerate progress in the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of cancer through
high-quality scientific and educational
It funds innovative, meritorious research
grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts
more than 17,000 participants who share the
latest discoveries and developments in the
Special conferences throughout the year
present novel data across a wide variety of
topics in cancer research, treatment and
The AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed
journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer
Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics;
Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer
Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
The AACR’s most recent publication and its
sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention
Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer
prevention, from preclinical research to
The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for
cancer survivors and their families, patient
advocates, physicians and scientists. CR
provides a forum for sharing essential,
evidence-based information and perspectives
on progress in cancer research, survivorship