Author(s): Boring CC, Squires TS, Health CW Jr
Although cancer remains a major public health burden for African Americans, progress is being achieved. Since 1984, the cancer mortality rate has declined two percent. Stomach and uterine cancer death rates have shown dramatic decreases in the last 30 years. Tobacco use is declining among blacks and is much lower among black adolescents than among their white counterparts. Black women are getting Pap smears more frequently than are any other ethnic group. Evidence is now accumulating that the causes of increased cancer morbidity and mortality in African Americans are related more to poverty and lack of education and access to care than to any inherent racial characteristics. Such observations support a range of opportunities whereby the impact of cancer in African Americans can be diminished through community programs and public health action.