Background: We have previously reported that cancer incidence for lung, female breast, and colon and rectum for Hispanics decreases with increasing percentage of Hispanics at the census tract. In contrast, cervical cancer incidence increases with increasing percentage of Hispanics at the census tract. Methods: In this study, we investigate the hypothesis that Hispanics living in census tracts with high percentages of Hispanics are diagnosed with more advanced cancer, with respect to tumor size and stage of diagnosis. Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry and the U.S. Census Bureau were used to estimate the odds of diagnosis at a "late" stage (II, III, IV) versus "early" stage (I) and breast cancer tumor size among Hispanics as a function of census tract percent Hispanic. Hispanic ethnicity in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry was identified by medical record reviewand Hispanic surname lists. The study also used income of Hispanics living in the census tract and controlled for age at diagnosis and gender. Results: We found that Hispanics living in neighborhoods with higher density of Hispanic populations were more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer, and to have a larger tumor size of breast cancer. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the benefits of lower cancer incidence in high tract percent Hispanics are partially offset by poorer access and reduced use of screening in conjunction with lower income, poorer health insurance coverage, and language barriers typical of these communities.
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