Author Affiliations: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology (Dr Partridge), and Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine (Dr Fouad), University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Since 1990, overall cancer mortality rates have declined at a rate of approximately 1% per year, with mortality from breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer declining at about 2% per year.1 These declines have largely been attributed to favorable trends in some risk factors for cancer, increased use of methods to detect cancer earlier, and more effective means to treat the disease. However, cancer-related mortality rates for African Americans continue to be considerably higher than those for non-Hispanic whites in the United States. Although the mortality gap has decreased somewhat, mostly secondary to tobacco-related cancers and reflecting declining tobacco use by African Americans, the mortality gap has not diminished for cancers with rates affected by early detection or effective treatment.2
Partridge E, Fouad M. Community-Driven Approaches for Reducing Health Disparities in Cancer. JAMA. 2010;303(11):1090-1091. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.282