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Racial Disparities In Cancer Deaths Is Narrowing Between Blacks And Whites: Shots



Dramatic reductions in deaths from lung cancer among African-Americans were particularly noteworthy, according to the American Cancer Society.
                
                
                    
                    Siri Stafford / Getty Images
                    
                

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Siri Stafford / Getty Images
        
    

The dramatic reduction in deaths from lung cancer among African-Americans was particularly noteworthy, according to the American Cancer Society.

Siri Stafford / Getty Images
            
        

For decades, the rate of cancer incidence and deaths from the disease among African-Americans in the United States far outpaced that of whites. But the most recent analysis of national data by the American Cancer Society suggests that the "cancer gap" is shrinking: In recent years, death rates from four major cancer have declined more among blacks than among whites.

The report was published online Thursday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

African-Americans still bear a disproportionate share of cancer burden in the US, having the highest death rate

"In 2019, approximately 202,260 new cases of cancer and 73,030 cancer deaths are "The analysis by ACS investigators notes."

But their report also shows that the gap between blacks and whites has been considerably over the last few decades whe It comes to the lung, prostate and colorectal cancers. In fact, during the period from 2006 to 2015, the overall death rate from cancer declined 2.6 percent per year among black men, compared with 1.6 percent per year among white men. Among women, for the same time period, death rates from cancer declined by 1.5 percent per year among blacks compared to 1.3 percent per year among whites.

"Twenty-five years of continuous decline in the death rate of cancer among black individuals translates to more than 462,000 fewer cancer deaths," according to the report's authors.

The improvement among African-Americans is largely due to dramatic decreases in incidence and death from lung cancer, says Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, acting chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, and that probably reflects the steep decline in the prevalence of smoking.

"I can not say why smoking has so dramatically decreased in the black community, but the fact that it has very good news, "he says. "It has significantly narrowed the gap between blacks and whites and we are very grateful."

Still, racial disparities in cancer continue. The reasons are likely multiple, Lichtenfeld notes, and include disparities in education, socioeconomic status and access to health care.

When the U.S. Lichtenfield says, "we'll see even more success. We have to commit ourselves to make that happen."


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