Finally some GOOD news: Latinos have better lung cancer survival rates
Have you heard all of the depressing news that has been piling up lately? Latinos are at a higher risk for heart disease (despite what a new study said), sugar is as addicting as cocaine, red meat will definitely kill you, pink slime is hiding in your ground beef, chicken is contaminated too and so on… I was getting right down depressed and starting to hate the world! Can't we catch a break around here?
Well, it's as if the world heard my grumbling and has decided to release some GOOD news for once: Latinos living in the U.S. who get lung cancer actually have a better chance of survival than non-Hispanic whites and a much greater chance than blacks, according to a new retrospective analysis.
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This applies to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). MedPage Today reports why we Latinos have a "lower risk for overall mortality than other ethnic groups, despite having poorer access to care":
A possible explanation for Hispanics' survival advantage may be that higher percentages of Hispanic patients have the bronchioloalveolar carcinoma subtype of disease, which carries a better prognosis
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Apparently they're calling it the "Hispanic paradox" because we have "high poverty rates and limited access to healthcare". The term kind of makes me laugh but they do mention that other things that could be contributing to our higher survival rates are lower rates of cigarette smoking, more family support and the "healthy immigrant effect"—which basically means that those of us who migrate from other countries tend to be stronger and more fit.
Either way, I'm glad for this little shining beacon of light in all of the not-so-pleasant news we've heard lately. Just don't take it to mean that you can start lighting up more—just be happy that if you do get sick because you still haven't given up smoking or because of second hand smoke, you'll have pretty good odds.
What do you think of the news that we Latinos have better cancer survival rates?
Image via David DeHoey/flickr