Cancer research association releases first report on racial disparities in cancer

The American Association for Cancer Research has released its inaugural report on disparities in cancer incidence and death rates among racial minorities and other underserved populations.

The report outlines cancer health disparities, progress in reducing these disparities as well as specific recommendations for achieving health equity.

Key findings from the report include:

● Black Americans have had the highest overall cancer death rate of any racial or ethnic group in the country for more than 40 years.
● Hispanic Americans have the lowest colorectal cancer screening rate of any racial or ethnic group in the nation.
● American Indians/Alaska Natives have the lowest breast cancer screening rate of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
● Racial and ethnic minorities are severely underrepresented in clinical trials.

Some progress has been made toward health equity in cancer care. The report notes that the gap in overall cancer death rate among racial groups is the smallest it's ever been. The overall cancer death rate for Black Americans was 33 percent higher than white Americans in 1990. That figure shrunk to 14 percent higher by 2016.

Among the report's recommendations for achieving cancer health equity is providing sustained funding increases for the federal agencies and programs that aim to reduce cancer health disparities.

Read the full report here.

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