Men's residence, race determine odds of death by certain cancers

A recent American Cancer Society study found geographic and racial disparities in incidence and mortality rates for men with a major genitourinary cancer.

The study, published in European Urology, looked at incidence and mortality for all four major genitourinary cancers — bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular — for men and women in the U.S. Researchers used the National Cancer Institute 22-registry Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database, the U.S. Cancer Statistics database and the National Center for Health Statistics, according to a Dec. 21 American Cancer Society news release. 

"These data are a call to arms," Karen Knudsen, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society and senior author of the study, said in the release. "This study reveals striking geographic and racial disparities that should be studied and mitigated. Our data identify a significant burden on a subset of populations, including men in the West and Black men overall."

Here are seven key findings:

  1. The highest mortality rates for prostate cancer in white men were found in the western region of the United States, including California, despite low incidence rates.

  2. Black men had an estimated 70 percent to 110 percent higher incidence and mortality rate for prostate cancer than White men overall in the U.S.

  3. Incidence and death rates for bladder and kidney cancers continue to be two to four times higher in men than in women.

  4. Geographically, the highest incidence rates among white individuals were found in the Northeast for bladder cancer and in the Appalachia region and parts of the South for kidney cancer.

  5. Incidence rates increased for bladder cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native individuals.

  6. For testicular cancer, incidence rates increased in all racial and ethnic groups, while mortality rates increased only in Hispanic men.

  7. Mortality rates stabilized for prostate cancer among white and Asian American/Pacific Islander men after a steady decline since the early 1990s.

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