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Cancer death rates dropping among African Americans but survival rates still low
Date:2/17/2009

ATLANTA February 18, 2009 While death rates from cancer continue to drop among African Americans, the group continues to be diagnosed at more advanced stages and have lower survival rates at each stage of diagnosis compared to whites for most cancer sites. The findings come from Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2009-2010, the latest edition of a report produced every two years by the American Cancer Society, the nation's leading voluntary health organization.

The new report says death rates for all cancers combined have decreased faster in African American men than white men, primarily because of rapid declines in the death rates from lung and prostate cancers. While overall cancer death rates have also decreased among African American women, they are dropping at a slower rate than among white women. The slower decline in African American women is largely due to smaller decreases in breast and colorectal cancer death rates.

The report estimates that among African Americans in 2009, there will be about 150,090 new cases of invasive cancer diagnosed and about 63,360 cancer deaths. The most commonly diagnosed cancers among African American men will be prostate (34 percent), lung (16 percent), and colon and rectum (10 percent). Among African American women, the most common cancers will be breast (25 percent), lung (12 percent), and colon and rectum (11 percent). Cancer of the lung will be the most common cause of cancer death in both African American men (31 percent) and women (23 percent), followed by prostate cancer in men (12 percent) and breast cancer in women (19 percent). Cancer of the colon and rectum and cancer of the pancreas are expected to be the third and fourth most common causes of cancer death in both men and women.

"African Americans have the highest death rate of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers," said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., American Cancer Society chief medical officer. "As this repor
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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