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Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity

The rate of people getting or dying from cancer varies by race and ethnicity.

Incidence Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Sex

"Incidence rate" means how many people out of a given number get the disease each year. The graph below shows how many people out of 100,000 got cancer each year during the years 1999–2010. The year 2010 is the most recent year for which numbers have been reported. The cancer incidence rate is grouped by race and ethnicity.

The graph below shows that in 2010, among men, black men had the highest rate of getting cancer, followed by white, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native men. Among women, white women had the highest rate of getting cancer, followed by black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

All Cancers Combined
Incidence Rates* by Race/Ethnicity and Sex, U.S., 1999–2010

Line chart showing the changes in cancer incidence rates for people of various races and ethnicities.


Incidence source: Combined data from the National Program of Cancer Registries as submitted to CDC and from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program as submitted to the National Cancer Institute in November 2012.
*Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population (19 age groups – Census P25-1130). Incidence rates are for state registries that meet USCS publication criteria for all years, 1999–2010. Incidence rates cover about 86% of the U.S. population.
Hispanic origin is not mutually exclusive from race categories (white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native).

Death Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Sex

From 1999–2010, the rate of people dying from cancer has varied, depending on their race and ethnicity. The graph below shows that in 2010, black people were more likely to die of cancer than any other group, followed by white, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander people.

All Cancers Combined
Death Rates* by Race/Ethnicity and Sex, U.S., 1999–2010

Line chart showing the changes in cancer death rates for people of various races and ethnicities.

Mortality source: U.S. Mortality Files, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC.
*Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population (19 age groups – Census P25-1130). Death rates cover 100% of the U.S. population.
Hispanic origin is not mutually exclusive from race categories (white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native).
Behavior recode for analysis used for 1999–2010 individual years.

 
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