A matter of race: Early-versus late-stage cancer diagnosis

Beth A. Virnig, Nancy N. Baxter, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Roger D. Feldman, Cathy J. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We compared the stage at which cancer is diagnosed and survival rates between African Americans and whites, for thirty-four solid tumors, using the population-based Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. Whites were diagnosed at earlier stages than African Americans for thirty-one of the thirty-four tumor sites. Whites were significantly more likely than blacks to survive five years for twenty-six tumor sites; no cancer site had significantly superior survival among African Americans. These differences cannot be explained by screening behavior or risk factors; they point instead to the need for broad-based strategies to remedy racial inequality in cancer survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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