The student news site of Kamehameha Schools Maui

Breast Cancer risk is above average for Native Hawaiians

October 21, 2019

Seventh graders Kekilinahe Ting and Reel Yoshida express gratitude for Pauahi Bishop, the schoolʻs founder who died of breast cancer, at the Walk for Pauahi.

Seventh graders Kekilinahe Ting and Reel Yoshida express gratitude for Pauahi Bishop, the schoolʻs founder who died of breast cancer, at the Walk for Pauahi.

Breast cancer is a long and hard battle that millions around the world have to face, but Native Hawaiian women have a higher likelihood of getting breast cancer than other ethnic races that live in the Hawaiian Islands.

The National Institutes for Health say the chance of death in Native Hawaiian women with late-stage breast cancer is 1.5 – 1.7 percent higher than for Caucasian, Chinese, and Japanese females.

Here are more statistics about breast cancer in Hawaiʻi:

  • The same study found that Japanese women who live in the Hawaiian Islands have double the rate of breast cancer than those who live in Japan.
  • Every year in Hawai’i, more than 6,700 residents are diagnosed with invasive cancer, which is cancer that spreads throughout the body.
  • More than 2,200 people die each year in Hawai’i because of this. The spending on cancer treatment reaches $678 million annually.
  • The estimated new cases of breast cancer in the U. S. in 2019 has reached over 268,600, which makes up 15.2% of all new cancer cases in 2019.
  • The estimated deaths from breast cancer in the U. S. in 2019 has reached 41,760, which means 15.5% of people diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 have died.
  • The breast cancer death toll makes up for 6.9% of all cancer-related deaths in 2019.
  • After six years of decline from 2005 to 2011, the rate of deaths from breast cancer have risen for the last five years the state has records for. From a low of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 women in 2011, the rate has risen to 18.7 deaths per 100,000 women in 2015, according to data from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health.

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