Links between obesity, diabetes and ethnic disparities in breast cancer among Hispanic populations

Authors

  • R. Lopez,

    1. Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Center of Excellence in Diabetes Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences MSB1, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso, TX, USA
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  • P. Agullo,

    1. Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Center of Excellence in Diabetes Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences MSB1, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso, TX, USA
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  • R. Lakshmanaswamy

    Corresponding author
    • Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Center of Excellence in Diabetes Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences MSB1, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, El Paso, TX, USA
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  • Terminology: ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Hispanic American’ refers to any individual of Spanish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American descent. ‘Mexican American’ refers to any individual of Mexican descent residing in or born in the United States. ‘Mexican’ refers to Hispanic individuals born in and residing in Mexico.

Address for correspondence: Professor R Lakshmanaswamy, Center of Excellence in Cancer Research, Department of Biomedical Sciences, MSB1, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, 5001 El Paso Dr, El Paso, TX 79905, USA.

E-mail: rajkumar.lakshmanaswamy@ttuhsc.edu

Summary

Breast cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in women worldwide and is a growing concern due to rising incidence and ongoing ethnic disparities in both incidence and mortality. A number of factors likely contribute to these trends including rising rates of obesity and diabetes across the globe and differences in genetic predisposition. Here, we emphasize Hispanic populations and summarize what is currently known about obesity, diabetes and individual genetic predisposition as they relate to ethnic disparities in breast cancer incidence and mortality. In addition, we discuss potential contributions to breast cancer aetiology from molecular mechanisms associated with obesity and diabetes including dyslipidemia, hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, endocrine dysfunction and inflammation. We propose that unique differences in diet and lifestyle coupled with individual genetic predisposition and endocrine/immune dysfunction explain most of the ethnic disparities seen in breast cancer incidence and mortality.

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