Medical College of Wisconsin studying cancer disparities

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee is looking for ways to fight racial disparity in cancer deaths in the state.

The National Cancer Institute reports that black residents in Wisconsin get cancer at a 22 percent higher rate than do white residents.

Factors leading to cancer disparities for African Americans include stress, income, lifestyle and poor diet. Biological differences and medical access also contribute.

Lauren Matthews has focused on the problem for three years as a community program coordinator at the college. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the college has launched a program offering free prostate screenings for black men. The program also provides community education about cancer screening.

The college also is studying breast cancer, colorectal cancer and smoking with funding help from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.