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African Americans have higher cancer mortality rates

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

African Americans have higher cancer mortality rates   African Americans may benefit from more cancer testing, as the latest figures from the American Cancer Society show that the ethnic group continues to have higher death rates and shorter survival times for a number of common cancers.

Overall, the situation is showing signs of improving for African Americans. For years there were significant disparities between them and other races when it came to cancers. However, while the gap is narrowing, the new numbers show that these disparities persist.

Higher overall cancer mortality rates among African American result principally from poorer outcomes of breast and colorectal cancers in women and prostate, lung and colorectal cancers in men.

"While the factors behind these racial disparities are multifaceted, there is little doubt socioeconomic status plays a critical role," said Otis W. Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. "African Americans are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups. For most cancers, the lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the risk."

He added that anyone, regardless of their race, may also be at higher risk of dying from cancer. These individuals may benefit from more frequent cancer testing to ensure they are free of the disease.

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