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Colorectal Cancer Death Rates are Highest for African Americans

Results of an African-American Health Study

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Updated: September 25, 2008

Photo by kk+ (flickr.com)
Photo by kk+ (flickr.com)

According to a report by the American Cancer Society (ACS), fewer African Americans are dying from colorectal cancer than in previous years. However, African Americans still have the highest death rate of any other racial or ethnic group for most cancers, including colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

The ACS anticipates that 16,440 African Americans will receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis in 2007 and 7,070 will die. They believe African Americans have higher death rates mainly due to socioeconomic factors that lead to diagnosis at more advanced colon cancer stages.

For example, the report states that almost 25 percent of African Americans live in poverty and 20 percent are uninsured. Both of those things can significantly decrease the chances someone will receive colon cancer screening -- a major factor in colorectal cancer prevention.

Other Cancers

When you look at all cancer deaths combined, the statistics are striking. African-American men are 35 percent more likely to die from cancer than Caucasian men and African-American women are 18 percent more likely to die from cancer than Caucasian women.

The top cancer killers among men are lung, prostate, and colorectal; for women, they're lung, breast, and colorectal. You can learn more about each by visiting About's lung disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer sites.

Related Articles:

Source: "Cancer Still a Heavy Burden for African Americans." American Cancer Society. 1 Feb. 2007. 4 Feb. 2007 [http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Cancer_Still_a_Heavy_Burden_for_African_Americans.asp].

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  9. African American Health Study - Colorectal Cancer Death Rates and African Americans

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