Tomi Akinyemiju


Progress has been made in reducing the overall burden of cancer among US adults. However, racial differences persist across multiple cancer types. This report presents data on the absolute and relative inequalities in cancer incidence and survival among Blacks and Whites in the US. Data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and Ends Results database on cancer incidence and survival in 2000-2014 among patients ages 20 -85 years in the US were used to estimate absolute and relative Black-White differences in incidence and survival rates. In 2000-2008, the overall cancer incidence rate ratio (IRR) comparing Blacks versus Whites was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.06-1.06). In 2010-2014, the overall Black-White IRR was 1.03 (95% CI: 1.03-1.04). In 2000-2008, the overall 5-year relative survival rate ratio (SRR) comparing Blacks to Whites was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.90-0.90), corresponding to a survival rate of 67.8% (95% CI: 67.7-67.8) for Whites and 60.8% (95% CI: 60.7- 61.0) for Blacks. In the 2009-2014, the overall SRR comparing Blacks to Whites was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.92-0.92). In 2009-2014, the cancer site with the largest racial difference in incidence was Kaposi Sarcoma (Black vs. White RR: 3.20, 95% CI: 2.80-3.40), and for survival in 2009-2014, it was Mesothelioma (White vs. Black HR: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.38-2.20). Absolute and relative racial disparities in cancer incidence and survival persist in the US. Research is needed to understand and address the differential distribution of cancer-related risk factors and improve access to high-quality and timely cancer treatment across racial groups.