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Minorities to Bear Brunt of Rise in U.S. Cancer Cases
Date:4/29/2009

Rate among Hispanics, blacks will double over next 20 years, report warns

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The United States will see a surge in the number of new cancers over the next two decades, driven by an aging population and an increased proportion of minorities, a new report predicts.

Rates of new cancer diagnosis are expected to jump by 45 percent among the population generally and by 67 percent among people aged 65 or older. New cancer cases are predicted to double among minorities, experts say.

This spike in new cases will sharpen health-care disparities and will outpace population growth, according to a study appearing in the April 29 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and announced Wednesday at a news conference sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Minorities will be hit the hardest. "Disparities facing minority patients are now reaching crisis proportions," said Dr. Derek Raghavan, director of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and co-chair of ASCO's Health Disparities Advisory Group. "It is critical that we take action to address these disparities before they reach these numbers."

ASCO also released a policy statement on disparities in cancer care, which is "our first step toward reducing these inequalities," Raghavan said. "Even when economic and insurance status is similar, there are still quality gaps in the care minorities receive."

"Decades of research led to the development of sophisticated treatment and screening methods, resulting in a substantial improvement in survival rates. But there is a profound divide between those with access to these improved results and those without access," said ASCO president Richard L. Schilsky, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

"One in five blacks are uninsured," he noted. "More than one in three Latinos, Native Americans and Alaska Natives are uninsure
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