NCI study examines ethnicity and cancer mortality

Cancer death rates among Black Americans are on the decline, but remain higher than other racial and ethnic groups.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Cancer death rates among Black Americans are on the decline, but remain higher than other racial and ethnic groups.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute believe that the overall drop in mortality from cancer could be due to improved access to screening, earlier detection, advances in treatment and behavioral changes such as declines in smoking.

One cause for concern is the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on access to cancer-related medical care in black communities, which could ultimately cause the decline in death rates to slow in the future.

A recent study shows the quality of diets for adults who are 65 and older declined between 2001 and 2018.

Experts said a number of factors could be playing a role.

“As you get older, your sense of smell goes down, sense of taste is affected and you don’t tend to like food as much as before your memory of the way food tastes is not the same as when you eat. There are medical problems that can affect your sense of taste and smell and affect your appetite,” said Dr. Ronan Factora with the Cleveland Clinic.

Other reasons may include the type of medications, loss of a spouse who normally did the cooking, and financial issues which factor into the cost of buying healthier foods.

And a study by researchers at Florida International University found that medications for ADHD help with behavioral issues in school but do not improve learning or comprehension.

“The findings are important because more than 90 percent of children with ADHD take stimulant medication at some time and the main purpose is to improve learning in school,” said Dr. William Pelham, Director of the FIU Center for Children and Families.

Experts in the field have underscored the importance of giving parents and teachers the skills to keep kids with ADHD on task, without medication.


About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.