CR3 News Magazine 2018 February: Black History Special Edition - Page 6

The Fight Is On::

Cancer Facts & Figures

for African Americans 2016-2018

Lung and Bronchus

New Cases

An estimated 24,730 cases of lung cancer are expected to be newly diagnosed among blacks in 2016, accounting for about 13% of the cancer diagnoses in this group. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both black men and women. Black men have higher lung cancer rates than white men, but the reverse is true for women, reflecting racial differences in historic smoking patterns (Figure 7, page 16). During 2008-2012, the average incidence rate for cancers of the lung and bronchus was 18% higher in black men than in white men, but 13% lower in black women than white women (Table 5, page 8). Lung cancer trends are similar in blacks and whites. In black men, incidence rates increased rapidly until the mid-1980s, but have since been steadily declining. In contrast, in black women, rates increased until the early 2000s and have since decreased slightly (Figure 6a, page 13). Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans is a publication of the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia. pg 15


The vast majority of lung cancers could be prevented by not smoking. Eighty-three percent of lung cancer deaths in men and 76% of lung cancer deaths in women are caused by cigarette smoking, with additional disease and death caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.73


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in blacks. An estimated 17,050 deaths from lung cancer are expected to occur among blacks in 2016. After increasing for decades, lung cancer death rates in men began to decline in 1990, with acceleration in the decline beginning in 1994 (Figure 3, page 7). During 2003-2012, lung cancer death rates declined faster in black men and women (3.3% per year and 1.6% per year, respectively) com- pared to white men and women (2.5% per year and 1.2% per year, respectively).4 The declines in lung cancer death rates are the result of decreases in smoking prevalence over the previous 40 years.

A faster decline in the lung cancer death rate in black men com- pared to white men has led to a substantial reduction in the racial disparity (from an excess of 40% in 1990-1992 to 20% in 2008-2012) (Figure 3, page 7). In fact, in young adults (under age 40), the disparity has been eliminated. The convergence of lung cancer death rates between young blacks and whites likely reflects the greater decrease in smoking initiation among black adolescents since the late 1970s.6 Smoking prevalence has also decreased more rapidly in blacks than in whites among ages 25 to 34.74 If black youth continue to have lower smoking prevalence as they age, racial differences in lung cancer mortality in men should be eliminated in the next 40 to 50 years. See page 16 for more information on smoking trends.

Survival and Stage Distribution

The overall 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancer is lower in blacks than in whites: 14% versus 18%, respectively (Figure 5, page 11). When lung cancer is detected at a localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate among blacks is 47%; however, only 15% of lung cancer cases are detected at this early stage because symptoms generally do not appear until the disease is advanced. Studies have shown that even when lung cancer is diagnosed early, blacks are less likely than whites to receive surgery, the treatment with the best chance for cure, even after accounting for socioeconomic factors.75-77 Other studies have found that among lung cancer patients treated at Veterans Affairs or US Military Health System facilities, racial disparities in lung cancer outcomes diminished, although differences in receipt of treatment remained.

Information taken from:

Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2016-2018 pg 15

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