Blacks face unequal cancer burden

June 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

Blacks still suffer more from the disease than other racial groups, according to the American Cancer Society.

While fewer black Americans are dying from cancer than 10 years ago, blacks still suffer more from the disease than other racial groups, according to the Atlanta-based American Cancer Society's "Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans, 2003-2004."

The new report estimates that about 132,700 blacks will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and about 63,100 will die from cancer in 2003. While those figures represent a decline in both incidence and deaths, the report found that:


•Â Black males have a 20% higher incidence rate and a 40% higher cancer death rate than white men.


•Â Black Americans are also more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease than whites, meaning their treatment is less likely to be successful.


•Â Regardless of when their cancer is diagnosed, blacks have a lower likelihood of surviving five years beyond diagnosis.

A higher poverty rate among black Americans and reduced access to healthcare are key reasons for these disparities, according to the report. The American Cancer Society said the new statistics emphasize the continuing importance of eliminating these social disparities through public policy and education efforts. PR

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