UH Cancer Center works to stop rising breast cancer rates among Hawaii women

Sponsored by UH Cancer Center

Breast cancer has been one of the most rapidly rising cancers among Hawaii’s women over the past decade. Each year in Hawaii, over 1,100 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Furthermore, according to the UH Cancer Center, Hawaii’s breast cancer incidence is steadily increasing and exceeds that of the United States overall, ranking fifth among all states.

Hawaii’s rising rates of breast cancer through the early 2000’s were partly driven by increases in mammographic screening leading to more breast tumors being detected. It is possible that mammography is also contributing to the more recent increases in breast cancer rates. However, it is likely that some of the more recent increases in breast cancer are also due to changes in underlying risk factors.

Breast cancer risk factors:
Older age
Dense breasts
Hormone treatment for symptoms of menopause
Drinking alcohol
Family history of breast cancer

All women are at risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer increases with age and most women are diagnosed after age 50.
In Hawaii, there are differences in breast cancers across the state’s diverse ethnic population. Native Hawaiian women have the highest rates of breast cancer and recent increases have been most pronounced among Japanese. The persistence of breast cancer disparities in Hawaii’s multiethnic population suggests differences in use of mammography.

About UH Cancer Center
The University of Hawaii Cancer Center (UH Cancer Center) was founded in 1981 and became an NCI-designated cancer center in 1996. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in Hawaii and the Pacific. The Center’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education, patient care and community outreach with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural and environmental characteristics of Hawai’i and the Pacific. The Center is a research organization affiliated with the University of Hawaii at Manoa with facilities located in downtown Honolulu and Kaka’ako. It’s new world-class cancer center was completed in early 2013. The Center directly employs 300 faculty and staff, with another 200 affiliate members through the UH Cancer Consortium.

For more information: uhcancercenter.org