TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new report finds that
cancer rates among blacks in the United States are on the decline,
especially among black men, and the improvement may have saved
almost 200,000 people from dying of the disease since the early
Still, blacks continue to be more likely to die of cancer than
whites, and researchers say they don't have a good handle on why.
There are many possible explanations, everything from genetics to
choices about health to the treatment of blacks in doctor's office
and differences in wealth and education.
In the big picture, "it's the good news, bad news story," said
report author Carol DeSantis, an epidemiologist with the American
Despite the positive numbers, she said, "the African-American
community is still unduly burdened by cancer. They have the highest
death rates [for many types of cancer], poorer survival and are
more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage disease."
Specifically, the report found that:
Dr. Dalliah Black, a surgical oncologist at the University of
Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said it's difficult to
figure out the causes of the differences in how cancer affects
whites and blacks.
She said biology may play a role, along with differences in how
doctors treat patients of different races. Skepticism among blacks
about the medical profession could be a factor, she added, "but I
don't think it's as pervasive of a feeling in the African-American
community as in the past."
What to do?
Black said more cancer screening is crucial, and "there's a lot
of room for improvement in increasing public awareness about
cancers that can be treated. That can translate into improvement in
survival," she said.
The report appears in the Feb. 5 issue of the journal
CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
For more about
disparities in cancer care, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.