Skip to main content
Racial/ethnic differences in cancer diagnosed after metastasis: absolute burden and deaths potentially avoidable through earlier detection. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology Clarke, C. A., Patel, A. V., Kurian, A. W., Hubbell, E., Gomez, S. L. 2021


Racial/ethnic disparities in cancer mortality are well-described and are partly attributable to later stage of diagnosis. It is unclear to what extent reductions in the incidence of late-stage cancer could narrow these relative and absolute disparities.We obtained stage- and cancer-specific incidence and survival data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program for persons aged 50 to 79 years between 2006 and 2015. For eight hypothetical cohorts of 100,000 persons defined by race/ethnicity and sex, we estimated cancer-related deaths if cancers diagnosed at stage IV were detected earlier, by assigning them outcomes of earlier stages.We observed a three-fold difference in the absolute burden of stage IV cancer between the group with the highest rate (non-Hispanic Black males, 337 per 100,000) and the lowest rate (non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander females,117 per 100,000). Assuming all stage IV cancers were diagnosed at stage III, 32-80 fewer cancer-related deaths would be expected across subgroups, a relative reduction of 13-14%. Assuming one-third of metastatic cancers were diagnosed at each earlier stage (I, II, and III), 52-126 fewer cancer-related deaths would be expected across subgroups, a relative reduction of 21-23%.Across population subgroups, non-Hispanic Black males have the highest burden of stage IV cancer and would have the most deaths averted from improved detection of cancer before metastasis.Detecting cancer before metastasis could meaningfully reduce deaths in all populations, but especially in non-Hispanic Black populations.

View details for DOI 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0823

View details for PubMedID 34810206