Louisiana Survey Maps Cancer Rates Among Blacks, Whites by Parish
Cancer rates among both white and black men generally are higher in Louisiana than national averages, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Louisiana Tumor Registry, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The registry is part of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
The survey -- led by Edward Peters, an assistant professor of epidemiology at LSU -- examined cancer cases occurring between 2000 and 2004, and mapped cancer cases by type and parish. According to the survey, prostate, lung, and colon and rectal cancers were the most prevalent types of cancer among both black and white males. Rates of certain cancers -- such as lung, oral cavity, kidney and pancreas, which are related to tobacco use -- also surpassed national averages. The survey found that cancer rates among black women in the state were comparable to national averages, though rates of cancer among white women generally were lower.
Cancer in the so-called Industrial Corridor is not consistently prevalent among people of different races or genders, which indicates that the environment is not the primary cause of cancer in that area, Peters said. He added, "Environment may have been a factor, but if it was something that was more regionally based, you would not expect to see such drastic differences in cancer rates by race and gender for people living in the same area."
Peters said, "One thing that strikes us is the variability and heterogeneous distribution of who is affected. There is no real pattern. Different cancers are elevated for different races and genders in different parts of the state" (Moran, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 8/2).
The survey is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.