Cancer is either the first or second leading cause of death for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. In 2009, 63,967 African Americans, 29,935 Hispanics, 13,274 Asians and Pacific Islanders and 2,710 American Indians died of the disease.
Cancer hits African Americans particularly hard. African American men are over twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than Whites. And while breast cancer is diagnosed 10% less frequently in African American women than White women, African American women are 40% more likely to die from the disease.
In other minority communities, cancer is also taking a disproportionate toll. Among Hispanics, women are 1.9 times more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than non-Hispanic White women. Asian and Pacific Islander women are three times as likely to fall ill from stomach cancer as non-Hispanic White women. And Asian American men suffer from stomach cancer twice as often as non-Hispanic White men. Similarly, both American Indian/Native American men and women are twice as likely to develop and die from stomach cancer and liver cancer.
- Although breast cancer is diagnosed 10% less frequently in African American women than White women, African American women are 40% more likely to die from the disease.
- American Indian Women are 1.7 times as likely to die from cervical cancer as compared to white women.
- Asian/Pacific Islander men and women have higher incidence and mortality rates for stomach and liver cancer.
- Hispanic women are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders are 30% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.