Louisiana Survey Maps Cancer Rates Among Blacks

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Cancer Rates Among Blacks

Cancer rates among both white and black men generally are higher inLouisiana than national averages, according to a survey releasedWednesday by the Louisiana Tumor Registry, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The registry is part of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

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Thesurvey -- led by Edward Peters, an assistant professor of epidemiologyat LSU -- examined cancer cases occurring between 2000 and 2004, andmapped cancer cases by type and parish. According to the survey,prostate, lung, and colon and rectal cancers were the most prevalenttypes of cancer among both black and white males. Rates of certaincancers -- such as lung, oral cavity, kidney and pancreas, which arerelated to tobacco use -- also surpassed national averages. The surveyfound that cancer rates among black women in the state were comparableto national averages, though rates of cancer among white womengenerally were lower.

Cancer in the so-called IndustrialCorridor is not consistently prevalent among people of different racesor genders, which indicates that the environment is not the primarycause of cancer in that area, Peters said. He added, "Environment mayhave been a factor, but if it was something that was more regionallybased, you would not expect to see such drastic differences in cancerrates by race and gender for people living in the same area."

Peterssaid, "One thing that strikes us is the variability and heterogeneousdistribution of who is affected. There is no real pattern. Differentcancers are elevated for different races and genders in different partsof the state" (Moran, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 8/2).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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