Childhood cancer epidemiology in New Mexico's American Indians, Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic whites, 1970-82.


The statewide population-based New Mexico Tumor Registry identified 473 malignant tumors among children of ages 0-14 years, during the period 1970-82. There were 235 non-Hispanic whites (50%), 189 Hispanic whites (40%), 38 American Indians (8%), and 11 other nonwhites (2%). The average annual age-adjusted incidence rates per million for non-Hispanic whites were 138.6 for males and 108.3 for females; for Hispanic whites, the rates were 108.5 for males and 80.9 for females; for American Indians, the rates were 75.5 for males and 78.0 for females. The incidence rates for all sites of cancer combined were lower for Hispanics and American Indians than for New Mexico's non-Hispanic whites and U.S. whites. Leukemia was the most common cancer in all racial-ethnic groups. In comparison with U.S. whites, American Indians were at low risk for leukemias, lymphomas, central nervous system (CNS), sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and kidney tumors and were at high risk for retinoblastoma, bone, and sex organ tumors. Hispanics were at low risk for CNS, SNS, kidney, sex organ, and liver tumors. Hispanic and non-Hispanic white males both were at increased risk for melanoma.