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Transcript African Americans and Lung Cancer

Hello. I’m Dr. Christopher Lathan of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Of all ethnic/racial and gender groups in the United States, African American men are the most likely to develop lung cancer and also to die from the disease. We don’t know why that is. Smoking alone cannot explain the high incidence and mortality from the disease in African American men. The main risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco use. However, smoking does not explain all cases of the disease. About 15 percent of cases occur in nonsmokers. More research is needed to understand the role of risk factors other than smoking. My research suggests that African Americans are less likely than whites to think that changing their behavior or lifestyle would decrease their risk of developing lung cancer. This concerns me because getting people to quit smoking is critical for making progress against this disease.