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USC researchers highlight disparities in cancer rates among racial and ethnic groups in California

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 14, 2004) - Among Californians, black men face the highest risk of being diagnosed with cancer, and their rates are almost three times as high as those among South Asian groups, according to statistics from the California Cancer Registry and researchers at the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Cancer incidence and mortality rates differ so much among California ethnic groups that black men are actually five times more likely to die of cancer than are South Asian men, for example. Yet rates of certain cancers (such as liver and stomach cancer) are much higher among Koreans and Chinese than among blacks and other groups.

These findings are just a small part of the newly released report "Cancer Incidence and Mortality in California: Trends by Race and Ethnicity 1988-2001," an examination of 14 years of statewide cancer data. The Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, or CSP, produced the report with data from fellow regional cancer registries. About 140,000 cancer cases and 50,000 cancer deaths are reported statewide each year.

The report is the first statewide study of cancer incidence rates in ethnic communities that are seldom examined, such as South Asians (Asian Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Sri Lankan) and Vietnamese. It also highlights cancer in changing populations, such as Latinos. Such studies contribute to a better understanding of cancer.

By gender, the report shows that black men and non-Latino white women are hardest-hit, proportionately, by cancer. But cancer rates vary significantly by gender and ethnicity: For 19 different kinds of cancer, one ethnic or racial group had at least three times greater incidence of that cancer than another ethnic or racial group.

"Identifying differences and trends in cancer rates by race/ethnicity is the key to identifying how successful our cancer control efforts are, and tells us a lot ab
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Contact: Jon Weiner
jonweine@usc.edu
323-442-2830
University of Southern California
14-Dec-2004


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