Cancer Fatality Rates Still Highest for African Americans

Oncology Nursing News, February 2011, Volume 5, Issue 1

For most cancers, African Americans continue to have the highest death rates and shortest survival rates among racial and ethnic populations in the United States.

For most cancers, African Americans continue to have the highest death rates and shortest survival rates among racial and ethnic populations in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society’s (ACS’s) new report Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2011-2012. The greatest disparities in mortality rates for African Americans occur in breast and colorectal cancers in women and prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers in men. “While the factors behind these racial disparities are multifaceted, there is little doubt socioeconomic status plays a critical role,” said Otis W. Brawley, MD, ACS chief medical offi cer, in a press release. “African Americans are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups. For most cancers, the lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the risk,” Brawley added.