Before 1980, colorectal cancer death rates were actually higher for whites than African Americans.
But, as rates began falling in the 1980′s for both blacks and white patients, decreases for whites were substantially greater than those for blacks. Between 1985 and 2008, mortality rates for whites with colorectal cancer fell 40 percent, while black rates declined by less than 20 percent.
The decrease in black death rates was higher than those for whites at every stage at diagnosis, but strikingly different when cancer had spread to distant sites. For whites whose colon or rectal cancer was first found at stage IV, death rates fell by more than 30 percent, while black rates declined by less than 5 percent.
Over time, five year survival after regional and distant diagnoses grew for white patients but remained essentially unchanged for blacks. Read the rest of this entry »