Dane County African Americans Have High Cancer Rates

Madison, Wisconsin - African Americans in Dane County were 30 percent more likely than whites to be diagnosed with cancer.


That's just one of the facts uncovered in a study by the Cancer Health Disparities Initiative at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.


The combined data in the Dane County African American Cancer Profile provide a snapshot of cancer-related health of African Americans in the county.


The following disparities were found in a study of the data:

  • Over the last decade, the cancer incidence and death rates increased for African Americans while those rates decreased for whites.
  • From 2006 to 2010, African Americans were 56 percent more likely than whites to die from cancer.
  • African Americans were twice as likely as whites to be diagnosed with and die from lung cancer.
  • While breast cancer risk was virtually the same for white and African American women, African Americans were 43 percent more likely to die of breast cancer.
  • African Americans were 76 percent more likely than whites to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 43 percent more likely to die of colorectal cancer.
  • Over the past 10 years, African American men were 79 percent more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer.
  • The prostate cancer incidence rate was 91 percent higher for African American men.

"The profile will be used to support cancer prevention, screening and research projects in partnership with community-based organizations in order to reduce cancer burden disparities in Dane County's African American community," said Erin Bailey, community outreach and education associate with the Cancer Health Disparities Initiative.


Bailey said that from 2006 to 2010, there were 115 African American cancer deaths in Dane County. If African Americans had the lower cancer death rates of whites, 74 of those deaths would have been prevented. The data that were analyzed come from the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System and the Office of Health Informatics at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Date Published: 05/07/2014

News tag(s):  cancer

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