Survival Differences by Ethnicity/Race

Cancer Survival Might Be Matter of Race [09/24/2002; Reuters News Service]

MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthScoutNews) -- Racial and ethnic differences play a part in cancer survival rates.

So says a study in today's issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

National Cancer Institute researchers found that male and female American Indians and Alaskan natives had the highest relative risk of cancer death for all cancers combined -- 70 percent higher for men and 80 percent higher for women. They also had the highest risk of death for most of the four most common cancers -- breast, colorectal, lung and prostate.

The exceptions to that trend were a 20 percent higher relative risk of cancer death for black men with colorectal cancer and a 60 percent higher relative risk for black women with breast cancer.

The researchers studied 917,021 men and 862,437 women diagnosed with their first cancer between Jan. 1, 1975, and Dec. 31, 1997, in nine geographic areas of the United States.

Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 84 percent of all the cancer patients, while 9 percent were black, 3 percent were Hispanic whites, and less than 1 percent were Hawaiian natives, American Indians and Alaskan natives.

Overall, relative risks for cancer death for all minority groups except Asian Americans were significantly higher for each of the four most common cancers and for all cancers combined. Asian men and women had the lowest relative risk (between 7 percent and 27 percent lower) for cancer death from the four common cancers.

Asian American women had the lowest relative risk for all cancers combined.

Cancer Disparties: Race/Ethnicity/Socio-economic Status

CA Cancer J Clin, 4/04

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