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Substantial racial, ethnic disparities exist among survivors of second primary cancers in US, study shows

Findings highlight research priorities to address survival disparities.

In new findings from researchers at the American Cancer Society, non-Hispanic Black individuals diagnosed with a second primary cancer (SPC) experienced 21% higher cancer-related death rates and 41% higher cardiovascular-related death rates compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts. The study also showed that Hispanic individuals diagnosed with a second primary cancer also experienced 10% higher cancer-related death rates compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts, but 10% lower cardiovascular-related death rates. The paper was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, and the news was shared on X /Twitter.

“These disparities were, in part, attributable to unfavorable stage distributions at second primary cancer diagnosis among Black and Hispanic populations, particularly for breast cancer, uterine cancer, and melanoma,” said Dr. Hyuna Sung, lead author of the study and ACS senior principal scientist of cancer surveillance research. “Complementing the currently expanding knowledge on SPC risk and care, the findings highlight research priorities to address survival disparities among the growing population of multiple primary cancer survivors.”

“Ending cancer as we know it requires public health interventions that ensure everyone has equitable access to quality, affordable and timely access to prevention and early detection,” said Lisa Lacasse, ACS CAN president. “ACS CAN continues to advocate to address health disparities, including increasing federal and state funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, passing the federal Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-Risk Insured Men Act, advancing proven tobacco control measures, increasing access to biomarker testing, expanding Medicaid coverage in the 10 remaining states that have not yet adopted expansion, supporting states to increase the reach of breast and cervical early detection programs and removing financial barriers (such as copays) to prostate, breast and cervical cancer screening for high-risk people. Elected officials at all government levels currently have the opportunity – and responsibility – to save countless lives from cancer by promoting these efforts.”

Other ACS authors participating in this study include: Lauren Nisotel, Ephrem Sedeta, Dr. Farhad Islami, and Dr. Ahmedin Jemal.

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