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Black-White Cancer Mortality Gap Decreasing in Some Age Groups

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 -- Cancer death rates are decreasing faster in blacks than whites in the United States, according to a report published online Feb. 14 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Noting that African-American/black individuals bear a disproportionate share of the cancer burden in the United States, Carol E. DeSantis, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues monitored progress in reducing these inequalities. The numbers of new cancer cases and deaths were estimated for blacks in the United States.

The researchers estimate there will be approximately 202,260 new cases of cancer and 73,030 cancer deaths among blacks in the United States in 2019. During 2006 to 2015, there was a faster decline in the overall cancer incidence rate in black men versus white men (2.4 versus 1.7 percent per year). The overall incidence rate was stable for black women compared with a slight increase for white women. There was a faster decline in cancer death rates in blacks versus whites among both men and women (2.6 versus 1.6 percent and 1.5 versus 1.3 percent, respectively, per year). In men younger than 50 years and women aged 70 years or older, the black-white disparity has nearly been eliminated.

"Seeing the substantial progress made over the past several decades in reducing black-white disparities in cancer mortality is incredibly gratifying," Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., interim chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.

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Posted: February 2019

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