A new study by the American Cancer Society reveals that Black people are significantly more likely to die from certain types of cancer, owing to structural inequities in access to both health care and information.
As part of the organization’s yearly cancer statistics, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians,” the study found that prostate cancer mortality rates in Black men are about two to four times higher than those in every other racial and ethnic group. Additionally, Black women are more likely than those in other ethnic groups to die from breast and uterine cancer.
“The biggest impact is lack of access to diagnostics, to prevention, to treatments,” Larry Norton, a medical oncologist and senior vice president at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and medical director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, told Yahoo News. “That’s clearly the biggest gap, and that’s something that has to be addressed. Lack of access is partially just lack of penetration of information.”
Racial disparities exist in both the incidence of various cancers and mortality rates. The highest mortality rate for both sexes combined is among American Indian/Alaska Natives (AIAN), with the rate among Black people coming in a close second.