The nation's leading cancer organizations say that Americans' risk of getting and
dying from cancer continues to decline--and survival rates for many cancers continue
to improve. But, for African-Americans, it is a different story. "The Annual Report
to the Nation on the Status of Cancer 1975 through 2001" says that black men were at
highest risk of dying of 12 cancers, compared to white men--with the increased risk ranging
from 9% for lung cancer to a high of 67% for cancer of the oral cavity. In addition, black women
experienced higher risk of death from 12 cancers--with the increase ranging from 7% for lung cancer
to 82% for cancer of the uterus, and melanoma. The report, overall, observed cancer-incidence rates
dropped 0.5% per year, form 1991 to 2001--while death rates from all cancer combined dropped 1.1%
per year, form 1993-2001. However, not all segments of the U.S. population have benefited equally
from the advances. Dr. Mark Clanton, Deputy Director for Health Care Delivery at the National Cancer
"This report says --while things are improving in some areas of cancer--the fact remains,
we still have a long way to go to reduce the unequal cancer burden on
African-Americans and other minorities in this country. If we're going to reduce
the burden, we must continue to develop culturally sound approaches to cancer
prevention that resonate with African-Americans and other communities of color.
This is the message in 'The Report to the Nation'."
For a free copy of the written press release and background information, call
the National Cancer Institutes's Press Office, at (301) 496-6641. This is Calvin
Jackson, the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.