Drops in smoking may have helped drive cancer death rates down among black men during the past decade, but they are still more likely to die of cancer than whites, according to a new analysis.
"I think we see some really good news, but then we also see some trends that are going in the wrong direction," said Carol DeSantis, the study's lead author from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
Improvements in cancer treatments and care have avoided nearly 200,000 cancer deaths in blacks since 1990. But cancer death rates for blacks are still higher than whites, according to DeSantis.
Between 2005 and 2009, the researchers found, about 288 black men died from cancer out of every 100,000, compared to about 217 white men. Among women, those numbers were about 181 blacks per 100,000, and 155 whites per 100,000.
The researchers also found black women are 16 percent more likely to die from cancer even though they are 6 percent less likely to get cancer.
"Primarily the reason for the lower incidence rate is that (blacks) are at a lower risk of lung and breast cancer... Then we see if you're diagnosed with the cancer you're more likely to die from the disease, and that's truly an access to care issue," said DeSantis.
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