The good news: Cancer death rates are declining among African Americans reports the American Cancer Society. In addition, lung and prostate cancer deaths are rapidly decreasing among black men and death rates of breast and colorectal cancer are slowly declining among black women.

The bad news: We still have the highest rates of cancer diagnosis compared to any other ethnic group in the United States; we are still diagnosed in later stages than our white counterparts; and we have lower survival rates at each stage of cancer.

“African-Americans face inequalities in income, education and standard of living, as well as barriers to accessing high-quality health care,” said Otis W. Brawley, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “And while it is discouraging that these differences still exist, we absolutely must face them and continue to enact policies to address them in order to save lives and reduce suffering from cancer among African Americans.”

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