Exploring cancer disparities

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Cancer can be deadly, but it actually kills higher percentages of African-American men and women than other racial and ethnic groups. So researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis are trying to learn why those disparities exist and what to do about them.


Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among both African-Americans and Caucasians, but African-Americans are both more likely to be diagnosed with certain types of cancer and to die from the disease, according to Washington University researcher Bettina Drake, PhD, assistant professor of surgery. Drake works with the Siteman Cancer Center’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities, or PECaD, reaching out to people in churches, health clinics and even at libraries with cancer information and programs designed to find out why some people are at higher risk, then to intervene to lower those risks.

Drake says every day, about 3,400 people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer and about 1,500 die from some form of the disease.

In this podcast, Jim Dryden talks with Drake about the work PECaD is doing.