Why do ‘blacks’ have more cancer and worse cancer outcomes than ‘whites’.
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on August 27, 2013
Why do ‘blacks’ have more cancer and worse cancer outcomes than ‘whites‘.
OK. Don’t blame me for the terminology – any ‘pinks’, ‘olives’, or ‘yellows’ out there? But there it is. US cancer statistics distinguish between African-American cancer rates and death rates compared with Caucasians – but don’t appear to collect similar data for Chinese-Japanese-Korean-or-Indian-Americans and not even Native American-Americans. What is clear from the data is that not only do African-Americans have worse cancer rates they have worse outcomes – some details in this article:
Note that at the beginning of the article they appear to rule out genetic causes (“But a study presented here appears to rule out one possible explanation — differences by race in the genetic subtype of the disease.”) but at the end of the article they say more genetic research needs to be done on a bigger population (ie more money – give me money).
Now, I am going to make a suggestion as to what the problem might be that might explain the situation without recourse to genetic research. Could it be the blackness (or let’s put this slightly differently – the relative darkness) of their skins that is to blame. Why might this be the problem? Because the whole point of the darkness of the skin is to block out ultra violet light. So if two men are standing in the sun for half an hour the one with the lighter skin is going to get more vitamin D protection than the one with the darker skin. We know that vitamin D is very important for health and as a disease fighter. So might this problem be solved by people with very dark brown or black skins taking say 5,000 iu of vitamin D a day.
A very simple test to determine whether it is skin colour or African genes would be to take South Indians as one control group and Brazilians as another. But, on second thoughts, that might not work because there are important dietary differences between these groups. If this could be factored in then I think we would have a research project that wasn’t sexy, cutting edge, gene stuff – but which might actually be useful.
(c) Jonathan Chamberlain 2013