According to the Office of Minority Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, African-Americans have the highest death rate of any ethnic group for cancer. In 2011, about 168,900 new cancer cases and 65,540 cancer deaths are expected among African-Americans.
In the recently released "Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2011-2012", the latest edition of the American Cancer Society's biannual report, racial disparity in cancer death rates is decreasing. However, African-Americans continue to bear a greater cancer burden than any other racial group in the United States.
According to the report, the following are the most common cancers among African-American women:
• breast cancer – 34 percent
• lung cancer - 13 percent
• colorectal cancer – 11 percent
Lung cancer accounts for the highest number of deaths among African-American women, followed by breast cancer.
For nearly all cancers, African-Americans are far more likely than whites to be diagnosed in advanced stages of disease. Also, the report found that African- Americans are less likely than whites to survive 5 years after a diagnosis, regardless of cancer type and stage of diagnosis.
Compared to whites, death rates were 16 percent higher among African-American women in 2007, the last year measured.
Researchers said the reasons are complex. "African-Americans are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups," said Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. There are also significant differences in income and education and high-quality health care issues. Also, lifestyle factors may play a factor.
Below please find free or low-cost cancer screening centers which were provided by the Office of Minority Health. These programs are focused on assisting the African-American community.
Breast and Cervical Cancer
CDC – home page
CDC - find a program locator
Colorectal Cancer Screening
CDC – About the program
CDC - Contact information