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Race gap narrows for some cancers in African-Americans; continues to increase for others
Date:1/31/2011

,900 new cancer cases and 65,540 cancer deaths are expected among African Americans in 2011.

  • The most commonly diagnosed cancers among African American men are prostate (40% of all cancers), lung (15%), and colon and rectum (9%). Among African American women, the most common cancers are breast (34% of all cancers), lung (13%), and colon and rectum (11%).

  • Lung cancer accounts for the largest number of cancer deaths among both men (29% of all cancer deaths) and women (22%), followed by prostate cancer in men (16%) and breast cancer in women (19%). For African American men and women, cancers of the colon and rectum and pancreas are expected to rank third and fourth, respectively, as the leading sites for cancer deaths.

  • Although the overall racial disparity in cancer death rates has decreased, in 2007, the death rate for all cancers combined continued to be 32% higher in African American men and 16% higher in African American women than in white men and women, respectively.

  • The use of colorectal screening tests among African Americans has continued to increase over the last two decades, but remains lower than whites (49% having reported a recent test compared to 56% in whites).

  • About half (52%) of African American women aged 40 and older reported having a mammogram within the past year, slightly less than whites (54%).

  • African American women and teen girls have the highest rates of obesity in the US. According to the most recent data (2007-2008) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, half of African American women and nearly 1 in 3 African American teen girls are obese. Obesity increases the risk of many cancers, including cancers of the breast (in postmenopausal women), colon, endometrium, kidney, and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.

  • According the National Health Interview Survey, in 2008 almost half of African American adults reported no leisure-time physical activ
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  • Contact: David Sampson
    david.sampson@cancer.org
    American Cancer Society
    Source:Eurekalert

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