By The Numbers: Minority Report

Published: Friday, May 14, 2010

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By 2030, a 99% increase in cancer incidence is projected for minorities, compared with a 31% increase for whites (Figure 1). These data reveal that prolific population growth will exacerbate the already significant racial disparities in America’s cancer burden. Among racial groups, African Americans (Figure 2) have the highest death rate (Figure 3) and shortest survival rate for most cancers. Researchers attribute the divide primarily to lifestyle choices and socioeconomic inequalities that create disparities in health risk factors (Figure 4) and access to quality healthcare (Figure 5). Emerging research suggests genetics (Figure 6) may also contribute to the cancer gap. Enacted federal healthcare reform starts to address the cancer disparity by expanding coverage; however, extensive healthcare awareness5 and access6 gaps still remain. To accommodate the disproportionate growth in incidence rates, the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities ( continues to stress the importance of recruiting minorities for clinical trials.

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