New York Minorities at Higher Risk for Cancer, in Part Because of Low Screening Rates, Report Finds
Minorities living in New York state have a higher risk of dying from certain types of cancer and are less likely to obtain preventive screenings, according to a report released last week by the American Cancer Society, AM New York reports. According to the report, Asian men in New York are more likely to die from stomach and lung cancers, black men have the highest risk of prostate cancer and black and Hispanic women have disproportionately higher rates of cervical cancer (Freedlander, AM New York, 4/20). Among blacks living on Staten Island, the cancer death rate was 193.7 per 100,000 residents from 1999 to 2003, compared with 192.9 per 100,000 for whites. According to health officials, the higher death rate is due in part to blacks obtaining fewer mammograms, colonoscopies and other screenings. In addition, black men have higher rates of prostate cancer than white men, according to Frank Forte, director of oncology, hematology and palliative medicine at Staten Island University Hospital. The report also found that doctors on Staten Island are less likely to diagnose blacks with cancer during the earliest stages (Schneider, Staten Island Advance, 4/20). "Language difficulties, social inequalities and racial discrimination affect the interaction patients have with doctors and leads to miscommunication which really affects the equality of the care people from different demographics receive," according to the report (AM New York, 4/20). "Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites even when insurance status, income, age and severity of conditions are comparable," New York City's ACS chapter said in a statement (Staten Island Advance, 4/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.