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Cancer Facts And Figures For African-Americans

Taking in the poll, the number of African Americans residing in the United States would take into account approximately; 13% (40 million)1 of the total population of the country. However, this is merely a representation of the construct of the population in the country. The classification based on race has been an essential guiding factor in understanding the emerging health; patterns among the population. It is because most of the public data in the United States are reported based on race or ethnicity.

Census statistics published every decade show that the African American minority group accounts for being the second-largest racial group; in the entire United States. And their concentration in the country is reported to have increased five folds over the past four decades or so. When taking cancer-related health issues and deaths into account. The ‘blacks’ community is believed to be the most vulnerable with the lowest survival expectancy rate or highest death tolls in the United States.

Main Causes Of High Cancer Incidence Rate among African Americans

Most are of the view that the rising cancer incidence rate among Blacks is only because of the genetic transmission of the disease. But this is not true. These increasing figures of cancer incidence and death rates depict the economic, social, and cultural inequalities or differences that strive among the population. The lack of access to quality healthcare services is another major drawback that stands against their survival expectancy.

African-Americans in the US lack not only equal access to healthcare but also essential resources such as food, shelter, employment, and education. The overall degradation of this minority group is an outcome of rigorous efforts, backward ideology and malpractices of the society in general. And even after setting aside the existing disparities in the society. The high concentration of other influential diseases such as influenza, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension among Blacks; is another major contributor affecting the cancer incidence and survival rates.

Apart from all biological and social discrepancies, habitual factors among individuals such as excessive body weight, intake of alcohol, smoking, improper diet; or lack of physical activities also have a major influence on cancer incidence and death rates. The chances of suffering from cancer also increase due to exposure to infectious agents associated with cancer. These agents include hepatitis B & C, human papillomavirus, and also Helicobacter pylori virus. But there exists a curable treatment for these sources of infection.

Probabilities of Cancer Incidence, Death or Treatment

Diseases such as cancer do not develop overnight. And so we do not find usual cases of kids and young ones suffering from cancer. The development of this disease occurs with increasing age compensating for years of enhanced exposure; to external agents and habitual malpractices. Statistics and reports, unfortunately, depict that approximately 30% of the African American population suffers from cancer. At the same time, 20% of the population die either due to inadequate healthcare facilities or habitual negligence.2

Technological advancement today has led to the possibility of prevention of almost every type of cancer. Cancer caused by malpractices such as smoking, drinking, excess body weight, malnutrition accounts; for almost 20% of the expected new cases, and these are all preventable. Additionally, the spread of the disease by infectious agents can resolve through vaccinations and major permanent alterations in the behavioral patterns of the individuals