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The biggest factor in reducing the gap in cancer death rates has been the more rapid decrease in smoking and lung cancer over the past four decades in blacks than in whites. (Paul Sakuma/AP). Longtime cancer disparities between African Americans and whites — with blacks having a sharply higher mortality rate — have narrowed significantly during the past several years and disappeared nearly entirely for a few age groups, including men under 50 and women who are 70 and older, according to a new study by the American Cancer Society. African Americans still have the highest death rate and the lowest survival rate of any racial or ethnic group for most cancers. But the report noted the overall ... Full story

14 February