Alarming increase of the cancer mortality in the u.s. black population (1950–1967)



The U.S. cancer mortality per 100,000 for both sexes rose, from 1950 to 1967, for blacks from 147 to 177, an increase of 20%, while it remained unchanged for whites at 150. The female cancer mortality rate declined for blacks from 146 to 142, a decrease of only 3%, while it declined for whites from 139 to 126, a decrease of 9%. The male cancer mortality rate rose for blacks from 147 to 220, an increase of 50%, while it increased for whites from 158 to 181, an increase of only 16%. In 1950, the cancer mortality rate for both sexes was 2% lower for blacks than for whites, but, by 1967, it had become 18% higher. Of the 58 most frequent U.S. sex-specified cancer types, 29 increased slower in whites, 9 decreased faster in whites, 14 showed no significant differences, and only 4 (malignant melanoma and reticulum cell sarcoma in both sexes) increased faster in whites. Environmental factors are the most likely causes for this alarming rise of cancer in U.S. blacks.