Blacks in North Central Florida Region Have Higher Cancer Mortality Rates Than Rest of State

Blacks in 11 counties making up North Central Florida have higher cancer mortality rates than other blacks throughout the rest of the state, the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative Report found.

“Disparities between the races are well-documented,” said Jeff Feller, CEO of the WellFlorida Council, which produced the report. “We’re woefully worse off in our black population in almost every form of cancer.”

The overall age-adjusted death rate (which removes the confounding influence of age) was 234 per 100,000 people compared with 172 for Florida. The difference was most pronounced for lip, oral cavity and pharynx cancer: African-Americans in this region had a 145 percent higher death rate for these cancers compared with African-Americans in the rest of the state.

“When you look at the number of dentists and access to dentists in this area, it’s very, very low. If you look at the cost of the median household, you know that these areas are very economically depressed,” said Dr. Henrietta Logan, a professor at the UF College of Dentistry and the director of the Southeast Center for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health.

“That tells you that the access to the primary care is just not there.” Source