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College Grads Have Lower Cancer Death Rates

Ivanhoe Newswire

(Ivanhoe Newswire) Higher education isnt just good for the mind; its also good for your health.

According to a new study done by the American Cancer Society, people with a college degree or more than 16 years of education die less often from the four most common kinds of cancer lung, colorectal, prostate and breast.

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Black and white men at that education level showed a statistically significant decline in death rates from prostate, lung and colorectal cancer. The same drop in mortality from breast, lung and colorectal cancer was true for women. There was an exception for lung cancer. There was no significant lowering of the death rate for that cancer among black women.

For people with less than 12 years of education there was a reduction in breast cancer deaths among white women but an increase in lung cancer mortality. The colon cancer death rate was higher for black men with the same educational level.

Its been established that people in higher socioeconomic categories have lower cancer mortality rates but this study shows an association with a college education. The authors also discuss how behavioral risk such as smoking, screening use and treatment patterns could be consistent with this new data.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (online edition), July 8, 2008

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Last updated 7/14/2008

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Sep 5, 2008
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