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Cancer number one killer of Latinos, replacing heart disease

The American Cancer Society said that 33,000 Latinos will die of cancer this year, more than from heart disease.

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A new study says cancer is now the number one killer of US hispanics. (Wikimedia/Wikimedia commons)

Cancer is now the number one killer of Latinos in the United States, says new research.

The American Cancer Society said that 33,000 Latinos will die of cancer this year, more than from heart disease.

CBS reported that although Latinos have some of the lowest rates of breast, colon and prostate cancer, they have some of the highest rates of cervix, gallbladder and stomach cancer.

These cancers are primarily caused by the presence of viruses like hepatitis B and the human papilloma virus or are caused by bacteria.

The good news is that the death rate from both cancer and heart disease is actually dropping for Latinos and others.

Heart disease death has fallen faster than cancer likely due to breakthroughs in treatment.

As for Latinos, as they have more babies and thus become demographically younger, the prevalence of heart disease is lowered.

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"This is primarily driven by the young age distribution," said study author Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, reported the Los Angeles Times.

"It's positive that rates of heart disease and cancer-related deaths are decreasing, but we can do more to improve access to health care for these folks and decrease rates further," she continued, according to HealthDay.

As the rates of heart disease fall, cancer is becoming the lead killer of nearly everyone in the US.

Cancer is the leading cause of death among Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders already.

It is also the leading cause of death in over a dozen states.

The study was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120918/cancer-number-one-killer-latinos-replacing-heart-disease