Whether or not you survive a bout of cancer may depend in part on where you live.
Researchers at the American Cancer Society and Clemson University in South Carolina found a 20% higher mortality rate for all types of cancer in the most racially and economically segregated communities.
Because lung cancermortality rates are 50% higher in the most segregated counties.
“Many people live in low-income minority households with little access to employment, transport, education and health careand are more likely to experience worse health outcomes,” said senior study author Tuyet Tung HanScientific director of health services research at the American Cancer Society.
“These findings show that it is imperative that we continue to find ways to increase access to prevent cancer and early detection whenever possible, to reduce disparities in cancer treatment outcomes,” she said in a social news release.
The researchers examined county-level mortality and sociodemographic data from 2015 to 2019 from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.
Among their findings: Racism and demographics are associated with cancer deaths at the county level.
The segregation was associated with higher mortality from 12 of the 13 selected cancer sites.
Reasons why lung cancer mortality is most closely associated with discrimination include greater exposure to risk factors such as smoking and air pollution and less early detection through through screening and early diagnosis. Lower survival rates may also be due to limited access to quality cancer care.
“Over the past decades, most cancer prevention and control efforts have targeted risk factors at the individual level,” said lead author. Lu Zhangfrom Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences.
“In the future, more efforts will be needed to eliminate structural risk factors and intervene in mediating factors to reduce the impact of discrimination on health outcomes,” Zhang said in a statement. press report.
The findings were published on November 17 in the journal JAMA Cancer.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on equity in cancer prevention and control.
Lu Zhang et al, Association of Racism and Demographic Discrimination with Cancer Mortality in the United States, JAMA Cancer (2022). DOI: 10.1001/jamoncol.2022.5382
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