In communities of color--which traditionally have limited access to health care information, diagnostic procedures, and medical treatment--lung cancer kills at disproportionate rates. The disease accounts for 25 percent of all cancers diagnosed in African American men; this is almost double the rate of lung cancer deaths for the overall US population. The lung cancer mortality rate for African American men in the 1990s was over 46 percent higher than that of white men. Cancer death rates among African American women are 20 percent higher than among white women.
Unfortunately, less data are available on Hispanic men and women. The American Lung Association recently reported that "smoking behaviors and lung cancer rates differ among different segments of the Hispanic population, and closer examination is needed to get a more accurate picture of each group."