Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Logo

Print Page A A A
En Español Newsroom Contact Us
 

Cancer and African Americans

African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. Death rates for all major causes of death are higher for African Americans than for whites, contributing in part to a lower life expectancy for both African American men and African American women.

  • In 2011, African American men were 1.3 times and 1.5 times, respectively, more likely to have new cases of lung and prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • African American men were 1.7 times as likely to have new cases of stomach cancer as non-Hispanic white men and 2.6 times more likely to die from stomach cancer.
  • African Americans men had lower 5-year cancer survival rates for lung, colon and pancreatic cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • African American men are 2.3 times as likely to die from prostate cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
  • In 2011, African American women were 10% less likely to have been diagnosed with breast cancer, however, they were almost 40% more likely to die from breast cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.
  • African American women are 2.3 times as likely to have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and they are 2.4 times as likely to die from stomach cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

 

At a glance – New Cases

New Cancer Cases per 100,000 – Men (2011)

Cancer
African
American
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
African
American/Non-
HispanicWhite
Ratio
All Sites
557.2
518.1
1.1
Colon and Rectum
55.5
43.4
1.3
Lung
81.4
63.5
1.3
Pancreas
16.7
14.4
1.2
Prostate
202.7
134.0
1.5
Stomach
13.6
8.4
1.6

 


New Cancer Cases per 100,000 - Women (2011)


Cancer
African
American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites
403.9
433.5
0.9
Breast
127.3
137.0
0.9
Cervical
7.7
6.5
1.2
Colon and Rectum
41.5
34.2
1.2
Pancreas
14.9
10.3
1.4
Stomach
9.3
3.8
2.4

Source:  CDC, 2015 Health United States, 2014. Table 40.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf [PDF | 14.65MB]

 

At a glance – Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2008-2012)

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Men

Cancer
African
American
Men
Non-Hispanic
White Men
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites
590.1
540.0
1.1
Colon & Rectum
61.2
48.4
1.3
Esophagus
7.6
8.4
0.9
Kidney & Renal Pelvis
25.1
22.1
1.1
Liver & IBD
16.2
9.8
1.7
Lung & Bronchus
90.9
74.8
1.2
Myeloma
15.1
7.5
2.0
Oral Cavity & Pharynx
14.6
18.4
0.8
Pancreas
17.2
14.3
1.2
Prostate
214.5
133.4
1.6
Stomach
14.6
8.3
1.8

 

At a glance – Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2008-2012)

Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 – Women

Cancer
African
American
Women
Non-Hispanic
White Women
African
American/Non-
Hispanic White
Ratio
All Sites
401.2
441.6
0.9
Breast
124.4
134.0
0.9
Cervical
9.2
7.1
1.3
Colon & Rectum
46.0
37.2
1.2
Kidney
12.8
11.0
1.2
Liver & IBD
4.8
3.2
1.5
Lung & Bronchus
50.8
56.9
0.9
Myeloma
11.2
4.4
Pancreas
14.4
10.9
1.3
Stomach
8.4
3.7
2.3

Source:  NCI 2015.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/sections.html

 

At a glance – 5 Year Survival Rate

Percent of Patients, Men (2005-2011)

Cancer
African American
Men
White Men
African
American/
White Ratio
All Sites
65.3
67.3
1.0
Colon
55.4
65.6
0.8
Lung
12.0
15.1
0.8
Pancreas
6.4
6.9
0.9
Prostate
96.9
98.9
1.0
Stomach
24.9
26.2
1.0

 


Percent of Patients – Women (2005-2011)


Cancer
African American
Women
White Women
African
American/White Ratio
All Sites
57.2
67.0
0.9
Breast
79.6
90.6
0.9
Cervical
58.2
69.2
0.8
Colon
57.4
64.9
0.9
Pancreas
6.7
7.3
0.9

Source:  NCI 2015.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/sections.html

 

At a glance – Death Rate

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Men (2008-2012)

Cancer
African American
Men
Non-Hispanic White Men
African American/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites
261.5
210.6
1.2
Colon & Rectum
26.9
18.2
1.5
Lung
73.1
62.2
1.2
Pancreas
15.0
12.7
1.2
Prostate
46.3
19.9
2.3
Stomach
9.2
3.6
2.6

 

Cancer Death Rates per 100,000 – Women (2008-2012)

Cancer
African American
Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
African American/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
All Sites
166.3
149.2
1.1
Breast
30.2
21.9
1.4
Cervical
4.0
2.0
2.0
Colon and Rectum
17.8
12.9
1.4
Pancreas
12.3
9.5
1.3
Stomach
4.4
1.8
2.4

Source:  NCI 2015.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/sections.html

 

At a Glance – Screening

Breast Cancer

Percent of women age 40 and over who had a mammogram within the past 2 years, 2013 (crude)

Non-Hispanic Black Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
67.2
67.6
1.0

Source:  NCI 2015.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/sections.html

 

Cervical Cancer

Percent of women age 18 and over who had a Pap smear within the past 3 years, 2013 (crude)

Non-Hispanic Black Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
75.1
68.4
1.1

Source:  NCI 2015.  Seer Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012.  Tables 2.15 through 24.15
http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/sections.html

 

Colon Cancer

Adults aged 50-75 who had any colorectal test or procedure, 2013

Non-Hispanic Black
Non-Hispanic White
Non-Hispanic Black/Non-Hispanic White Ratio
58.2
60.4
1.0

Source: CDC 2015. Health United States, 2014. Table 78.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf[PDF | 14.65MB]

Last Modified: 3/29/2016 1:42:00 PM