African American cancer survival rate improving, but still much lower than whites

(Technorati) African Americans in the U.S. have the highest rates of death for most cancers even with an overall decrease in mortality. I know that’s confusing — it’s saying the percentages are higher in blacks than whites, but overall the rate of death has gone down. This is according to a 2010 American Cancer Society report on African Americans and cancer that was recently released. “African Americans are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups,” Otis Brawley, the chief medical offer of the American Cancer Society said. So poorer people overall have higher cancer death rates.

Compared to whites, death rates were 32 percent higher among African American men and 16 percent higher among African American women; the statistics are from 2007, the last year measured.

The most common form of cancer among African American males is prostate cancer at 40 percent of cases; 15 percent have lung cancer and 9 percent colon and rectal cancer.

For African American women, breast cancer is the most common, lung cancer is second with 13 percent, and 11 percent colon and rectal cancer.

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