Study reveals cancer diagnosis is more deadly in blacks
African Americans had much higher mortality rates than whites even when a specific cancer had a lower incidence rate, Hebert said. For example, S.C. data reveal that African Americans smoke less than whites. But statistics on oral cancer show that African Americans have a higher MIR in seven of the state’s regions.
“Comparing these data to national MIR rates shows the severity of the problem,” said Hebert.
“We already knew that South Carolina provides dramatic examples of health disparities,” said Hebert, who also serves as director of the USC-based South Carolina Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program. “This study is alarming. However, in showing health disparities in a visual, graphic way in geographic space it also points a way toward potential solutions.”
While cancer disparities between whites and African Americans are stark, there is a glimmer of good news on the cancer front in the Palmetto State. Susan Bolick-Aldrich, a co-author on the Cancer paper and director of South Carolina’s Central Cancer Registry, said the overall incidence of cancer and cancer mortality rates in the state declined from 1996 to 2005.