There are differences in gastric cancer incidence and death among ethnic/racial groupings, according to reports. A study in 2022 found that, despite the general decline in prevalence among other racial/ethnic groups, gastric cancer remains a frequent malignancy among Puerto Rican Hispanics.
Disparities exist in the overall incidence of gastric cancer among racial and ethnic groups in the United States, with one Hispanic subpopulation appearing to carry a disproportionate disease burden. Although gastric cancer is uncommon in the United States, it is one of the top 10 cancer-related causes of death among Hispanics residing in Puerto Rico.
A study published in Cancer Medicine compared the incidence rates of gastric cancer among Puerto Rican Hispanics (PRH) and racial/ethnic groups in the mainland United States, including Hispanics (USH), Non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB), Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) and Non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islanders (NHAPI), over 15 years (2002-2006, 2007-2011, and 2012-2016).
In total, 83,369 cases of gastric cancer were examined (PRH n=4202; NHW n = 43,164; USH n = 14,041; NHB n = 10,414; NHAPI n = 11,548). Findings showed that:
- Non-Hispanic Blacks and Puerto Rican Hispanics had the highest percentage of cases among people in their 50s or older than 50.
- Hispanics had the highest number of cases among people younger than 50.
- Only Puerto Rican Hispanics and Hispanics have increasing annual percent changes among people younger than the age of 50.
Results revealed that, despite the general decline in incidence among other racial/ethnic groups, gastric cancer remains common among Puerto Rican Hispanics. Understanding the results presented in this study may help lay the groundwork for future strategies for prevention. Nonetheless, to formulate health policy and adjust gastric cancer screening protocols for Hispanics, more research examining the risk factors for the disease in high-risk groups is needed.
Gonzalez-Pons, M., Torres-Cintrón, C. R., Soto-Salgado, M., Vargas-Ramos, Y., Perez-Portocarrero, L., Morgan, D. R., & Cruz-Correa, M. (2022). Racial/ethnic disparities in gastric cancer: A 15-year population-based analysis. Cancer Med. https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.4997