• breast cancer;
  • California;
  • California Cancer Registry;
  • Middle Eastern;
  • salmon bias;
  • survival

Abstract:  This report presents the patterns of incidence, survival, and mortality of breast cancer in the Middle Eastern (ME) population of California. Cases were identified through surname recognition and population estimates were obtained from census public use files. Rates, trends, and survival in this ethnic group were compared with the non-Hispanic White (NHW) of California, as well as natives in the Middle East. Age-adjusted incidence rates for the insitu (22.8), invasive (126.2), and mortality (23.2) in ME women were significantly lower than similar rates of 26.0, 146.9, and 30.6 in the NHW women. Incidence rate in ME women in California was higher than rates in women in the Middle East. Lower rates for early stage and higher rates for late stage diagnoses in this ethnic population suggest lack of optimal access to preventive healthcare. Relative survival in the two groups is negatively associated with stage at diagnosis and is slightly higher in ME women, probably due to large numbers of lost to follow-up in ME women suggesting the presence of salmon bias. Positive association with socioeconomic standing was detected only in the NHW women. Incidence of breast cancer in ME men was significantly higher than that of NHW men.