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Cancer Risks in Minorities

When it comes to your risk for cancer, there are certain factors you can control. Eat healthier. Be more active. Quit smoking. However, sometimes, risk factors are beyond your control. If you have a family history of cancer and unfortunately your race can also affect risk. Minority groups in the U.S. continue to have a greater risk for cancer than whites.

The cancer death rate among African American men is 27% higher compared to white men. Researchers have found variants in DNA that are associated with the risk of developing prostate cancer. Nearly all of the variants related to the risk were found most often in black men. However, many times this disparity has to do with poverty, lack of access to detection services and treatment, so these facts don’t have to necessarily remain true.

However, the sad fact is that about one in two black men and one in three black women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, according to the American Cancer Society. The most common for black males is prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that 29,530 cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in black men in 2016. This demographic also has the highest death rate.

The best prevention measure is screening and regular checkups with your physician. Cancer risks also are a result of lifestyle choices so using tobacco, being physically inactive or overweight or drinking alcohol in excess contribute to your personal risk. Also, remember that prostate cancer can run in families. One of the best choices you can make for your family is to get regular screenings and make lifestyle decisions for better health.

The good news is that despite the disparity, rates are improving. The death rate for cancers among African Americans has been declining since the 1990s. To learn more about your risk for cancer or to talk to a physician about a concern, give us a call today at 1-877-321-8452.

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