Sources of Black-White Differences in Cancer Screening and Mortality

Jessica Y. Ho, University of Pennsylvania
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania

In 1971, President Nixon initiated the “war on cancer”, which led to dramatic increases in spending on cancer research and treatment. After a steep increase in overall cancer death rates in the early 1990s that has been attributed to tobacco-related cancers, age-adjusted death rates declined substantially. However, not all population subgroups have benefited equally from these advances. Today, blacks have higher mortality and poorer survival rates compared to whites for nearly all cancer sites. We explore black-white mortality differentials for three groups of cancers: 1) tobacco-related, 2) screening-related, and 3) less medically amenable cancers. Using the theory that social conditions act as fundamental causes of diseases, we estimate logistic regression and survival models to examine the association between race, socioeconomic status and cancer screening and mortality.

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Presented in Session 98: Race, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Health and Mortality