Many of us know at least one other person who has been diagnosed with cancer. It is estimated that nearly half of all men and one-third of all women will battle this disease in their lifetime. And people of color, especially African-Americans, are deeply affected by this life-altering disease.
National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, which kicked off April 15 and ends April 22, aims at heightening your awareness about this very serious disease.
According to the American Cancer Society:
—African-Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival following diagnosis of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.
—It is estimated that about 169,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed among African-Americans by year’s end. Approximately 66,000 African-Americans will die from cancer.
—The most commonly diagnosed cancers among African-American men are prostate, lung and colorectal.
—Among African-American women, the most common cancers are breast, lung and colorectal.
Some other key stats:
—African-American women are 40 percent more likely to develop cervical cancer caused by the STD human papillomavirus (HPV), and 20 percent more likely to die from it compared to white women.
—Although African-Americans are 10 times less likely to get skin cancer than whites, we have more complications and higher death rates.
—African-American men were almost twice as likely to have new cases of stomach cancer as white men.
—African-American women are 2.1 times as likely to have been diagnosed with stomach cancer as white women, and they are 2.4 times as likely to die from stomach cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.
To help lessen these racial gaps, the American Cancer Society announced has awarded 12 grants totaling more than $8.5 million to support research aimed at achieving racial health equality. These grants, which will be given this year, will address many issues such as reducing the barriers to receive care that many patients of color experience and proving more support for low-income smokers.
It's important to note that while cancer can happen to anyone, studies show there are things you can do to lessen your risk: maintain a healthy weight, work out regularly, cut back on alcohol, quit smoking and have regular cancer screenings.
Remember: In many cases early detection and early treatment is the difference between life and death.
Learn more about prevention and treatment, go here.
BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.