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Breast cancer incidence and mortality for Texas women

Texas breast cancer surgeon breaks down the numbers

· breast cancer,Breast Surgeon,Cancer Statistics

Did you know that breast cancer incidence and mortality are different for different ethnicities? Further, there are some ethnicities with a lower incidence but a higher mortality. For Texas women, the stats are especially alarming for black and Hispanic women.

Incidence and Mortality Defined

What exactly do the words incidence and mortality mean when we use them in statistics? When we say incidence with regard to breast cancer, we mean the number of women who will get breast cancer in a specific year. This is different from the number of women who are actually diagnosed with breast cancer, because some women who get breast cancer are not diagnosed. When we use the word mortality, we mean the number of women who will die from breast cancer in a certain year.

Breast Cancer Statistics for Texas Women

Let's start with the stats from the National Center for Health Statistics as reported in 2015 and then we'll break them down:

  • For non-Hispanic white women, 124.2 per 100,000 per year in Texas will get breast cancer, with 21.1 women (per 100,000) dying from the disease each year.
  • For Hispanic women, 88.5 per 100,000 per year in Texas will get breast cancer, with 16.1 women (per 100,000) dying from the disease each year.
  • For non-Hispanic black women, 120.3 per 100,000 per year in Texas will get breast cancer, with 33.7 women (per 100,000) dying from the disease each year.
  • For Asian women, 64.8 per 100,000 per year in Texas will get breast cancer, with 9.7 women (per 100,000) dying from the disease each year.

Exactly How Many Women is That?

If you're like me, the numbers above sound fine and dandy, but they don't really mean much unless you can break them down a little further. So let's break them down until they mean something that we can relate to.

According to the most recent U.S. Census (which was completed in 2015), there were 13,844,433 women living in Texas. Here is the percentage of women living in Texas broken down by race:

  • 43% white
  • 38.8% Hispanic
  • 12.5% black
  • 5% Asian (or Pacific Islander)

Now let's get rid of the percentage and calculate how many women that really is...

  • 5,953,106 white women live in Texas
  • 5,371,640 Hispanic women live in Texas
  • 1,730,554 black women live in Texas
  • 650,688 Asian women live in Texas

That's a lot of Texas ladies! But what does that mean for breast cancer incidence and mortality? Well, the breast cancer statistics are reported "per year", then "per 100,000 people". If we dust off our old math notes, we know we should start by dividing each of the numbers above by 100,000. So let's do that first. To do this easily in our heads, just remove five "zeros" from the each of the figures above (because there are 5 "zeros" in 100,000). We won't worry about rounding here just to keep it simple. So...

  • 5,953,106 becomes 59 white women
  • 5,371,640 becomes 53 Hispanic women
  • 1,730,554 becomes 17black women
  • 650,688 becomes 6 Asian women

These smaller numbers just make things a little easier to work with. So now we take the smaller numbers and multiply them by the "incidence" and "mortality" rates that we talked about in the beginning. 

Breaking Down the Breast Cancer Calculation

So our incidence calculation looks like this:

  • 59 x 124.2 = 7,394 white women in Texas are likely to get breast cancer this year
  • 53 x 88.5 = 4,754 Hispanic women in Texas are likely to get breast cancer this year
  • 17 x 120.3 = 2,082 black women in Texas are likely to get breast cancer this year
  • 6 x 64.8 = 422 Asian women in Texas are likely to get breast cancer this year

And our mortality calculation looks like this:

  • 59 x 21.1 = 1,256 white women in Texas will die from breast cancer this year
  • 53 x 16.1 = 865 Hispanic women in Texas will die from breast cancer this year
  • 17 x 33.7 = 583 black women in Texas will die from breast cancer this year
  • 6 x 9.7 = 63 Asian women in Texas will die from breast cancer this year

A Few Other Breast Cancer Statistics for South Texas Ladies

Now that we have this data, we can break it down all sorts of ways. Here are a few ways that may resonate with you...

  • Breast Cancer in Texas
    • 14,651 new breast cancer cases in Texas this year
    • 2,767 deaths from breast cancer in Texas this year
  • Breast Cancer in San Antonio
    • 784 new breast cancer cases in San Antonio, TX this year
    • 148 deaths from breast cancer in San Antonio, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in McAllen
    • 69 new breast cancer cases in McAllen, TX this year
    • 13 deaths from breast cancer in McAllen, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in Brownsville
    • 93 new breast cancer cases in Brownsville, TX this year
    • 18 deaths from breast cancer in Brownsville, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in Corpus Christi
    • 173 new breast cancer cases in Corpus Christi, TX this year
    • 33 deaths from breast cancer in Corpus Christi, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in Laredo
    • 136 new breast cancer cases in Laredo, TX this year
    • 26 deaths from breast cancer in Laredo, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in Pleasanton
    • 5 new breast cancer cases in Pleasanton, TX this year
    • 1 death from breast cancer in Pleasanton, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in Boerne
    • 7 new breast cancer cases in Boerne, TX this year
    • 1 death from breast cancer in Boerne, TX this year
  • Breast Cancer in San Marcos
    • 32 new breast cancer cases in San Marcos, TX this year
    • 6 deaths from breast cancer in San Marcos, TX this year

 A Little Too Close to Home?

For many of us, these numbers are a little too close to home as many of us know and love one or more women who have developed breast cancer or passed away from breast cancer. It's important for us to know our own risk and do what we can to keep ourselves and our families as healthy as possible. And ladies...I don't have to tell you this, but it's also important to show our southern love and compassion for those ladies in our lives who are currently fighting the fight.

Dr. Maria Palafox is a breast cancer surgeon who practices in San Antonio, TX and South Texas. She is a huge supporter of breast cancer awareness and helping to find resources for women. Call her office today at (210) 503-5053 or reach her on the web at www.MariaPalafoxMD.com

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