Cancer Among Hispanics In New Jersey

Appendix II:
Major Risk Factors and Preventive Measures for Cancers with
Disproportionately High Incidence among Hispanics

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Cervical Cancer11, 21 - Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the primary risk factor for cervical cancer. Sexual activity before age 16 and a higher number of partners increase the risk of cervical cancer. Cigarette smoking has been found to increase the risk of cervical cancer independent of other risk factors. HIV infection is associated with HPV infection, but it is not clear whether HIV infection plays a role in progression of HPV to invasive cervical cancer. The use of Pap tests to detect early stages of cervical cancer has been shown to greatly reduce its mortality. Condoms can help to prevent HPV infection. Appendix III contains recommendation from the American Cancer Society for women about early detection.

Stomach Cancer16, 22 - Dietary nitrates have been linked to stomach cancer. Some foods high in nitrates include smoked and salt-dried fish, bacon, sausages, other cured meats, beer, mushrooms and pickled vegetables. Diets high in salted foods also increase stomach cancer risk. Stomach cancer rates are lower in populations who eat large quantities of fruits and vegetables and higher in populations with lower economic status.

Gallbladder Cancer23 - The major risk factor for gallbladder cancer is gallstones and one of the primary risk factors for gallstones is obesity. Women who have been pregnant many times are at higher risk for this disease, possibly due to increased estrogen and progesterone levels. Higher levels of these hormones are also caused by obesity. However, there is no clear association between oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy and gallbladder cancer. No clear role has been identified for tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. Genetic factors may play a role but data are limited at this time.

Liver Cancer24 - Chronic infection with hepatitis B and C virus are the major risk factors for liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B virus and heavy alcohol consumption can cause cirrhosis of the liver, which also causes liver cancer. Occupational exposure to vinyl chloride causes one form of liver cancer, angiosarcoma. Aflatoxin, a chemical produced by a common mold in peanuts, corn and cassava, may increase the cancer-causing effects of hepatitis B virus.

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