UC Davis Cancer Center research suggests cancer affects different people differently

Researchers and clinicians in UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Population Sciences and Health Disparities Program are dedicated to understanding why Cancer affects different people differently,  and are working in different ways to eliminate disparities and improve outcomes for everyone.

At UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers are working to understand the biological mechanisms that may be at work in certain cancers that disproportionately affect different populations. They also are hunting for clues as to why certain types of cancer are more aggressive in one group or another, and why some populations respond differently when given the same treatment for the same disease.

** For all cancers combined, the death rate is 25 percent higher for African Americans than for whites.
** White women have the highest incidence rate for breast cancer, although African American women are most likely to die from the disease.
Hispanic/Latino women have the highest cervical cancer incidence rate.
** African American men have the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the United States and are more than twice as likely as White men to die of the disease.
** Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest incidence rates for both liver and stomach cancer and are twice as likely to die from these cancers as Whites.
** American Indians and Alaska Natives have higher incidence and death rates for kidney cancer than other racial/ethnic groups.

Before improvements can be made in cancer prevention and mortality for different groups of cancer patients, the environmental, social and cultural factors that affect cancer incidence and outcomes must be addressed. Only when these factors are better understood can innovative and appropriate approaches to cancer prevention, enhanced treatment and survivorship programs be developed and implemented. At UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers are examining these differences so that every group has the best chance against cancer.


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