LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Breast cancer deaths have declined. However, it is still the second most common cancer among women in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women.

Doctor Arsalan Salamat is with Optum Care Breast Care. The latest CDC numbers show Hispanic women are diagnosed in slightly higher numbers.

“The five-year survival rate tends to be about 4% lower than white women 92 versus 88,” said Dr. Salamat.

In addition, it’s more likely to be discovered at a later stage. Hispanic women also have higher odds than non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with tumors that are larger and hormone receptor-negative which makes them tougher to treat.

“Once your tumor becomes larger or your lymph nodes become positive, you’re more likely to have later-stage cancer,” Dr. Salamat said.

Invasive breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. So awareness is key. Dr. Salamat said one way to overcome it is to have conversations at home. 

“So that’s the first place that it can start, where we can raise awareness within our own families to get your mom, sister, grandma to go get their mammogram,” he said.

Every month, women are encouraged to do a breast self-exam in the shower or laying down. Women know their own bodies best. Also, don’t put off the annual screening. It’s always best to catch cancer early.