Racial/ethnic patterns in lifetime and age-conditional risk estimates for selected cancers

Authors

  • Barry A. Miller Dr.P.H.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Statistics Branch, Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Cancer Statistics Branch, Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 504, Rockville, MD 20852
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    • Fax: (301) 496-8510

  • Steven M. Scoppa B.S.,

    1. Information Management Services Inc., Silver Spring, Maryland
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  • Eric J. Feuer Ph.D.

    1. Statistical Research and Applications Branch, Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • This article is a U.S. Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Estimates of the probability of developing or dying from cancer, either over a lifetime or over a specified number of years, are useful summary measures of the burden of cancer in a population.

METHODS

The authors used publicly available DevCan software and new, detailed, racial/ethnic data bases that were developed in the Surveillance Research Program of the National Cancer Institute to produce risk estimates for selected major cancers among American Indian/Aleut/Eskimo, black, Chinese, Filipino, native Hawaiian, Japanese, white (total, non-Hispanic), and Hispanic populations.

RESULTS

Japanese and non-Hispanic white men had the highest lifetime risk for developing cancer (47.94% and 47.41%, respectively), and the American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut population (excluding Alaska) had the lowest lifetime risk among men (24.30%). Among women, white and American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut (in Alaska) populations had higher lifetime risks than Japanese women, whereas American Indian/Eskimo/Aleut (excluding Alaska) women had the lowest risk. The age-conditional probabilities of developing cancer within the next 10 years among men and women age 60 years and the lifetime probabilities of dying from cancer also were reported by racial/ethnic group.

CONCLUSIONS

Racial/ethnic disparities in the lifetime risk of cancer may be because of differences in cancer incidence rates, but they also may reflect differential mortality rates from causes other than the cancer of interest. Furthermore, because cross-sectional incidence and mortality rates are used in calculating the DevCan lifetime risk estimates, results must be interpreted with caution when events, such as the widespread and rapid implementation of a new screening test, are known to have influenced disease rates. Cancer 2006. © 2005 American Cancer Society.

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