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1999 to 2019 Saw Decrease in Cancer Mortality for Blacks in the U.S.

Last Updated: May 20, 2022.

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FRIDAY, May 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2019, the overall cancer death rate decreased significantly among Black men and women, but in 2019, cancer death rates were still highest for Blacks versus other racial and ethnic groups, according to a brief report published online May 19 in JAMA Oncology.

Wayne R. Lawrence, Dr.P.H., from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues examined national trends in cancer mortality from 1999 to 2019 among Black individuals by demographic characteristics and compared cancer death rates in 2019 for Blacks versus other racial and ethnic groups.

The researchers found 1,361,663 deaths from cancer among Black individuals from 1999 to 2019. The overall cancer death rate decreased significantly among Black men and women (average annual percent change [AAPC], −2.6 and −1.5 percent, respectively). Decreases in death rates were seen for most cancer types, with the greatest decreases for stomach cancer among women and lung cancer among men (AAPC, −3.4 and −3.8 percent, respectively). Among men and women aged 65 to 79 years, there was a significant increase in deaths from liver cancer (AAPC, 3.8 and 1.8 percent, respectively). There was also an increasing trend seen in uterine cancer mortality. Compared with non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, and White individuals and Hispanic/Latino individuals, Black men and women had the highest cancer death rates in 2019.

"In 2019, Black individuals continued to have the highest cancer mortality rates compared with other racial and ethnic groups, suggesting a need to address the pervasiveness of longstanding racial and ethnic inequities," the authors write.

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