African Americans and Cancer

African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. Death rates for all major causes of death are higher for African Americans than for whites, contributing in part to a lower life expectancy for both African American men and African American women.

  • In 2008, African American men were 1.4 times and 1.5 times, respectively, more likely to have new cases of lung and prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • African American men were twice as likely to have new cases of stomach cancer as non-Hispanic white men.
  • African Americans men had lower 5-year cancer survival rates for lung, colon and pancreatic cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • African American men are 2.4 times as likely to die from prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • In 2008, African American women were 10% less likely to have been diagnosed with breast cancer, however, they were almost 40% more likely to die from breast cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.
  • African American women are 2.2 times as likely to have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and they are 2.4 times as likely to die from stomach cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

 

New Cancer Cases per 100,000 – Men (2008)

Cancer African
American
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
African
American/Non-
HispanicWhite
Ratio
All Sites 611.1 540.4 1.1
Colon and Rectum 63.3 50.0 1.3
Lung 92.9 68.4 1.4
Pancreas 18.5 13.8 1.3
Prostate 227.7 147.6 1.5
Stomach 16.3 8.1 2.0

 

New Cancer Cases per 100,000 – Women (2008)

Cancer African
American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites 394.8 437.2 0.9
Breast 122.4 134.8 0.9
Cervical 8.9 6.2 1.4
Colon and Rectum 47.6 39.3 1.2
Pancreas 14.9 10.5 1.4
Stomach 7.9 3.6 2.2

Source:  CDC, 2012 Health United States, 2011. Table 47.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2005-2009):

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Men

Cancer African
American
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites 627.1 564.7 1.1
Colon & Rectum 66.9 54.2 1.2
Esophagus 8.9 8.5 1.0
Kidney & Renal Pelvis 24.3 21.4 1.1
Liver & IBD 14.9 8.8 1.7
Lung & Bronchus 99.9 81.4 1.2
Oral Cavity & Pharynx 15.4 17.8 0.9
Pancreas 17.7 14.0 1.3
Prostate 236.0 150.6 1.6
Stomach 17.0 8.5 2.0

 

Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2005-2009):

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Women

Cancer African
American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites 398.3 439.0 0.9
Breast 121.2 132.8 0.9
Cervical 9.8 7.1 1.4
Colon & Rectum 50.3 40.2 1.3
Kidney 12.0 10.7 1.1
Liver & IBD 4.4 2.9 1.5
Lung & Bronchus 52.6 59.3 0.9
Pancreas 14.4 10.6 1.4
Stomach 8.7 3.7 2.4

Source:  NCI 2012.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2009_pops09/sections.html

 

5 Year Survival Rate:

Percent of Patients, Men (2001-2008)

Cancer African American
Men
White Men African
American/
White Ratio
All Sites 63.6 69.7 0.9
Colon 53.4 66.9 0.8
Lung 12.6 15.2 0.8
Pancreas 4.5 5.9 0.8
Prostate 97.7 99.9 1.0
Stomach 22.8 24.9 0.9

 

Percent of Patients – Women (2001-2008)

Cancer African American
Women
White Women African
American/White Ratio
All Sites 55.8 68.0 0.8
Breast 78.0 91.7 0.9
Cervical 61.1 70.2 0.9
Colon 56.9 65.6 0.9
Pancreas 5.0 6.5 0.8

Source:  CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 48
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Men (2005-2009)

Cancer African American
Men
Non-Hispanic White Men African American/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 288.3 221.9 1.3
Colon & Rectum 29.8 19.8 1.5
Lung 82.6 68.0 1.2
Pancreas 15.5 12.7 1.2
Prostate 53.1 21.9 2.4
Stomach 10.3 4.0 2.6

 

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Women (2005-2009)

Cancer African American
Women
Non-Hispanic White Women African American/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites 174.6 154.7 1.1
Breast 31.6 23.0 1.4
Cervical 4.3 2.1 2.0
Colon and Rectum 19.8 13.8 1.4
Pancreas 12.6 9.4 1.3
Stomach 4.8 2.0 2.4

Source:  NCI 2012.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009.  Table 1.20.
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2009_pops09/results_single/sect_01_table.20_2pgs.pdf [PDF | 24KB]

 

Screening:

Breast Cancer

Percent of women age 40 and over who had a mammogram within the past 2 years, 2010 (crude)

Non-Hispanic Black Women Non-Hispanic White Women Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
67.4 67.8 1.0

Source:   CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 90.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Cervical Cancer

Percent of women age 18 and over who had a Pap smear within the past 3 years, 2010 (crude)

Non-Hispanic Black Women Non-Hispanic White Women Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
77.4 72.8 1.1

Source:   CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 91.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Colon Cancer

Adults age 50 and over who reported they ever had a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or proctoscopy, United States, 2008

Non-Hispanic Black Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
50.4 58.4 0.9

Source:   2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 1_3_2.2b.
http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr11/index.html

 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health