Black Americans are less likely than whites to survive cancer five years after the disease is detected, according to a study by the National Cancer Institute.
The latest official cancer survival figures, in a report to be released Nov. 6, are based on a study of 10 percent of the population, the Boston Globe said yesterday.
The Globe said there is virtually no evidence of genetic causes for the disparity between whites and blacks, but some researchers believe the possibility should be studied. Rather, the study strongly suggested that blacks are less likely to get the most up-to-date cancer treatment and follow-up care.
The study found that among all Americans, 41 percent of cancer patients now survive the five-year period after diagnosis. Blacks, however, have only a 30 percent survival rate.
Meanwhile, a university health researcher said yesterday that a higher incidence of injury and disease among minorities could be explained in part by their concentration in the most dangerous occupations.
And because minorities have traditionally been less likely to seek medical care, many work-related diseases go untreated, said Morris Davis, executive director of the Labor Occupational Health Project at the University of California at Berkeley.
"They are more fearful of job loss as compared to whites, less likely to complain," Davis said.
Davis noted that a 1978 Social Security Administration report found that black workers were 1 1/2 times more likely than whites to be severely disabled from job injuries or illness.Fifty percent more blacks than whites suffered permanent or partial job-related injuries, according to the 1970 census.