Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Racial gap in cancer deaths narrowing

Published:Friday | February 15, 2019 | 12:08 AM
FILE - A man smokes a cigarette.


For a long time, blacks have died of cancer at higher rates than other Americans. But a new report says the gap is narrowing.

Nearly 30 years ago, black men had a 47 per cent higher cancer death rate than white men. Now it’s 19 per cent higher. Black women had a 19 per cent greater cancer death rate. Now it’s 13 per cent greater.

Cancer deaths have dropped for all Americans, but the rates have fallen faster in blacks than whites. The biggest declines were in lung, prostate and colon cancers.

Experts say the main reason is that smoking rates fell more dramatically in blacks in the past 40 years, and that’s paying off in fewer deaths now.

Another reason is more blacks are getting screened.

The American Cancer Society released a report yesterday on the trends.