CANCER: African Americans Hit Hard Despite Overall Decrease
As cancer rates across all ethnic groups continue a downswing, the disease still disproportionately affects African Americans, according to the American Cancer Society's annual report, released Wednesday. Not only do African Americans have higher rates of cancer, but they "are also at greater risk of dying of cancer than is any other racial or ethnic group," ACS President Dr. Charles McDonald said. "African-American men are 1.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than are white men and twice as likely to die of the disease," McDonald noted. And while white women have higher rates of breast cancer than do black women, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Looking at U.S. Census data and information from the National Cancer Institute, the ACS estimates that 1.2 million new cases of cancer and 563,000 cancer-related deaths will occur this year. The ACS predicts that prostate cancer will be the most common cancer, with nearly 180,000 cases, followed by lung, breast and colorectal cancer. However, more people are expected to die from lung cancer (158,900), followed by colorectal(56,600) and breast (43,700) cancer. On a more positive note, McDonald said the "incidence rates of breast cancer in young women and lung cancer in men are down, as are those of colon and rectal cancer in both men and women" (Reuters/Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.