ATLANTA, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The death rate for cancer has dropped among African-Americans but this group still has the highest cancer death rate in the United States, researchers say.
Cancer Facts & Figures for African-Americans 2011-2012, produced every two years by the American Cancer Society, reports the higher overall cancer death rate among African-Americans is due largely to higher mortality rates from breast and colorectal cancers in women and higher mortality rates from prostate, lung and colorectal cancers in men.
However, death rates for lung and other smoking-related cancers and for prostate cancer have decreased faster in African-American men than in white men.
In 2007, the death rate for all cancers combined remained 32 percent higher in African-American men than in white men, and 16 percent higher in African-American women than in white women.
Lung cancer accounts for the largest number of cancer deaths among men, 29 percent, and women, 22 percent -- followed by prostate cancer in men at 16 percent and breast cancer at 19 percent in women.
"African-Americans are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups," Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society says in a statement. "People with lower socioeconomic status have higher cancer death rates, regardless of demographic factors such as race/ethnicity."