Prostate and lung cancer have been the No. 1 and 2 cancers among men. Stomach cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, has been on a steady decline among Koreans and Japanese. Black men had the highest overall rates of cancer. Thyroid cancer — which is relatively treatable — has been on the rise, and women are about three times more likely to contract it than men.
These are a few of the notable nuggets in the most recent Cancer in Los Angeles County: Trends by Race/Ethnicity 1976-2012, a book released on Aug. 15. The report card includes every cancer diagnosis in the region over the past 37 years — more than 1.3 million. With easy-to-read charts, the book divides L.A.’s population into 11 ethnic and racial groups to highlight the fact that cancer risk is a result of genetics, environment and behavior.
“Not only are we telling people what has happened to others in the past, but we are also helping them understand their own future cancer risk,” said Dennis Deapen, the report’s senior author and a professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “The majority of cancer in Los Angeles is preventable: You can reduce the risk yourself. Let this be a reminder to get appropriate checkups to help identify any cancer early.”
The Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP), a state-mandated database managed by Keck Medicine of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, provides scientists everywhere with essential statistics on cancer. About two publications each day cite this large and diverse databank as a resource, said Deapen, who directs the program.
USC’s report card provides evidence of how environmental and lifestyle choices can alter one’s cancer risk. For instance, Asian women living in Los Angeles experience higher and continuously rising breast cancer risk compared to their counterparts living in Asia. That’s because breast cancer is more prevalent in developed countries with westernized lifestyles, said Lihua Liu, lead author and an assistant professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. ….
Read Full Article (Excerpt of Article by USC News)
Lihua Liu, PhD., Assistant Professor, Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program (NAACCR Committee Member)
Based on over 1.3 million cancer records diagnosed over 37 years, the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program recently released their third monograph on cancer trends in Los Angeles County. Aimed at the general public, “Cancer in Los Angeles County: Trends by Race/Ethnicity, 1976-2012” provides rich information on racial/ethnic specific cancer incidence trends for 24 cancer types among 11 racial/ethnic populations for the large, highly diverse county of Los Angeles. The report highlights striking disparities in cancer risk among different racial/ethnic populations by cancer type, which measures the potential for reduction in cancer burden, if the lowest rates were to be achieved by all. The dramatic changes in cancer trends over the study period within the same populations underline the important public health message that cancer risk is largely modifiable by non-genetic (i.e., behavioral and lifestyle) factors.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not represent the official positions of NAACCR.