California Girls

I’ve hit the slot machine carcinoma jackpot.  This recent study concludes that Asian American/Pacific Islander (ding!) women (ding!) born in California (ding!) during the 1960’s (ding!), especially those of Chinese and Filipino (ding, ding!) descent, are much more likely than originally thought to develop breast cancer.  Overall, Asian American/Pacific Islanders are 62% more likely than Caucasians to develop invasive breast cancer.  Filipinas in particular were 72% more likely (Chinese 23%, Japanese 59%) than their White counterparts to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

I myself bought into the stereotype that Asians are less likely to develop many kinds of cancer.  Our foremothers ate more vegetables and less meat, were more active, weighed less, had more babies, breastfed those babies, and led generally healthier lifestyles.  Turns out it doesn’t work out for us US born kids.  We’re overachievers in many ways, including it now appears, the incidence of invasive breast cancer.

I first noticed an over-represented proportion of Asians in a breast cancer group in the Kaiser study.  Although the Kaiser membership was 57% White, 16.7% Hispanic, 16.9% Asian, and 7.7% African American, of all Asian invasive breast cancer patients 19.9% were Her2+.  For Whites that figure dropped to 12.1%.

Yeah, we’ve got the sunshine, we’ve certainly got the tans, we might be the cutest girls in the world, but more breast cancer’s in the clan.


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