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African-Americans Have Highest Cancer Fatality Rate

By HERWriter
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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

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Great addition!

February 4, 2011 - 8:45pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

MC - This is great information, and I'd like to add more information about blood cancers from BeTheMatch.org. This matters because treatment and cures for some blood cancers are dependent on bone marrow or stem cell transplants, and the search for African-American donors can be extremely challenging. Far too many patients die because a donor can't be found.
"Thousands of patients could be saved by a marrow transplant. For many patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia, a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor is their best or only hope for a cure. These patients depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match. Patients are more likely to match a donor from their own race or ethnicity, yet out of a registry of millions, less than 10 percent are African American. Finding a matched donor can also be challenging because African Americans are more genetically diverse. "

More information can be found at http://www.marrow.org/

February 4, 2011 - 5:29pm
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