Cancer has surpassed heart disease to become the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the United States, according to an American Cancer Society report released Monday.

Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States. Approximately 16.3% of America’s population (50.5 million out of 310 million people) is Hispanic. It is estimated that 112,800 people of Hispanic ethnicity will be diagnosed with cancer and 33,200 will die of the disease in 2012.

The finding is due in part to the younger age distribution of Hispanics. Approximately one in 10 Hispanics is age 55 or over, compared to one in three non-Hispanics.

Every three years since 2000, scientists at the cancer society have published Cancer Facts and Figures for Hispanics/Latinos. Such studies provide data that help develop an efficient science-based cancer control plan.

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