Cancer deaths fall for African American men, disparities remain
Increase for colorectal cancer
The latest report on cancer among African Americans shows a good-news, bad-news scenario. While racial gaps are closing for some types of cancers, including fewer cancer deaths among African American men, disparities are increasing for some cancers that can be found through routine screenings.
Every year, the American Cancer Society reports on the latest data, based on reports from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. The newest information includes data for the year 2009. This year’s report is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The latest data show that the cancer death rate declined faster for African American men than among White men during the latest time period. African American men experienced a drop of 2.4% annually, compared with 1.7% among White men. That means the prevention of nearly 200,000 cancer deaths among African Americans since the 1990s, according to the report.
“The decline is greater for Black males because they started with higher rates of deaths and especially greater rates of preventable deaths,” said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society and CNN Health conditions expert.
All races have shown declines in deaths beginning in 1991, Brawley said. The declines in Black men were first noticed in 1999.
Brawley says the decline shows success in cancer prevention. Smoking cessation in the 1960s and 1970s made a big impact. Brawley also notes the importance of getting adequate treatment to the African American population.
Decreasing disparities in care is a reason for the drop, but Brawley notes that “as in smoking cessation, we can do better.”
Despite the decline in cancer deaths, African Americans are still more likely to get cancer than White Americans. And cancer death rates remain 33% higher among African American men than White men.
Cancer death rates among African American women are 16% higher than among White women. “These disparities reflect unequal access to health care and other socioeconomic factors,” Brawley said.
Despite some progress, the report reveals that while racial gaps are closing for some cancers, including lung and smoking-related cancers and for prostate cancer, the racial disparity has increased for colorectal cancer and female breast cancers. It’s important to note that those cancers can be caught and treated with early screening.
“More can and should be done to accelerate this progress by making sure all Americans have equal access to cancer prevention, early detection and state-of-the-art treatments,” Brawley said.
The African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to build awareness of health disparities, as well as decrease premature deaths and disabilities among ethnic populations, recently released its statewide African American mental health report entitled, “We Ain’t Crazy! Just Coping With a Crazy System: Pathways into the Black Population for Eliminating Mental Health Disparities.”
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles County probation officers asked for help today in finding a parolee who threatened to kill school children.
Frank Edward Edmonds, 40, who authorities consider “extremely violent and an imminent public threat,” may be in Compton, South Los Angeles or Inglewood, his last known address.
Two “Saturday Night Live” sets, an Instagram snapshot and 66 projector images later, we now have a better picture of what’s to come on Kanye West’s anticipated new album.
As promised, the rapper — not to be confused with a celebrity — didn’t take part in any of the skits for “SNL’s” season finale/swan song for cast member Bill Hader. But he didn’t need to — over the course of two songs, West still left a lasting impression.
CENTURY CITY, Calif. — Jason Collins, the first active player in a major male team sport to announce he is gay, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and U.S. women’s soccer national team goalkeeper Hope Solo were honored Sunday at the 28th annual Sports Spectacular at the Century Plaza.
Collins, who completed the NBA season with the Washington Wizards, received the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award, presented to the athlete who has persevered, defied the odds and inspired us all, organizers said.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Authorities today identified a man who was fatally shot by Inglewood police after he allegedly smashed the windows of eight squad cars with a sword in a police station parking lot.
The shooting occurred Saturday night, after the man damaged the vehicles using a sword that was thicker and heavier than a machete, police said. The dead man was identified as Charles Curl, 46, of Los Angeles, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.