What African-Americans Need to Know
- The colorectal cancer incidence rate (the rate of people in a group diagnosed with a disease in a specific period of time) is higher among African Americans than among any other ethnic or racial group in the United States.
- Death rates from colorectal cancer are higher among African Americans than any other ethnic or racial group in the United States.
- Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among African American men and women. It’s estimated that in 2011, 16, 650 African Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and 7,050 will die of the disease.
- There is evidence that African Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to get screened for colorectal cancer.
- African Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have colorectal polyps (grape-like growths in the colon or rectum) detected when they can easily be removed before they become cancer.
- Diet and tobacco use may increase African Americans’ risk of developing colon cancer.
- African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in later stages when it’s harder to treat. They are less likely to live fiver ore more years after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer than other ethnic or racial groups.
- African Americans with colorectal cancer are less likely to receive recommended treatment.
- Genetic factors and personal and family medical histories may increase a person’s risk for colorectal cancer. All men and women should talk with their health care professionals about their medical histories. They should also learn about their family medical histories and tell their health care professionals if relatives—parents, brothers, sisters or children—has had colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
- African American women have the same risk of getting colorectal cancer as African American men, and they are more likely to die of the disease than women of other ethnic or racial groups.