Cancer is the second leading cause of death for African Americans. More than 40 million African Americans are living in the United States with cancer. The disease is deadlier than diabetes and HIV/AIDS – affecting 13 percent of the total population of African Americans.
African Americans have the highest death rate and the shortest five-year survival rate of any other ethnic group. Less than adequate social conditions and low income contribute to the increased cancer death rates among African Americans.
Experts estimate that 160,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in African Americans from 2011-2012.
Both black men and women are at high risk for all types of cancers. Breast, prostate, lung and even skin cancers are killing more African Americans than any other racial group.
April is National Minority Cancer Awareness month, a time for African Americans and other minorities to find out information the disease, get early detection screenings and learn ways to prevent cancer.
Here are the facts, according to the Centers for Disease Control:
*An estimated 65 thousand African Americans are expects to die from cancer in 2012.
*Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Black women.
* Prostate cancer accounts for more than 40 percent off all cancers diagnosed in Black men, 1 in 5 of whom will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.
*Cancer death rates are 32 percent higher in Black men and 16 percent higher in Black women than for white men and white women.
*Evidence has shown that certain behaviors increase that likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer: smoking, lacking exercise, becoming overweight, making poor nutrition choices.
*Black Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer when the disease is in the most advanced stages because of a lack of health insurance and little awareness of the disease.
Contact your local doctor or cancer treatment center for more information about cancer and the symptoms, causes and effects.