Cancer Death Rates on the Decline among Black Americans

A new American Cancer Society (ACS) report shows that black Americans’ cancer death rates are on the decline. However, there are still disparities between the diagnosis, treatment, and curing of cancers for this demographic and other racial demographics. Black Americans are diagnosed at more advanced stages of cancer than white Americans, and blacks tend to have lower survival rates at each stage of diagnosis. The report also shows that about 150,090 new cases of invasive cancer are expected to be diagnosed this year, resulting in about 63,360 deaths. For this demographic, the most commonly diagnosed cancers among men will be prostate (34%), lung (16%), and colon and rectum (10%). For black American women, the report predicts that the most common cancers will be breast (25%), lung (12%), and colon and rectum (11%).

In a news release, ACS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Otis W. Brawley said, “African-Americans have the highest death rates of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.” Yet, as he pointed out, “the causes of these disparities are complex and likely reflect social and economic disparities, not biologic differences.” He added, “African-Americans face inequalities in income, education and standard of living, as well as barriers to accessing high-quality health care. And while it is discouraging that these differences still exist, we absolutely must face them and continue to enact policies to address them in order to save lives and reduce suffering from cancer among African-Americans.”

The non-profit Dale & Frances Hughes Cancer Center in East Stroudsburg offers treatment services to patients throughout PA. Skin cancer treatment, lung cancer treatment, prostate cancer treatment, and more are provided through a variety of technologically advanced techniques.