There is no hiding the fact that the African American community suffers disproportionately from diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. There’s no surprise either when it comes to the high rate at which cancer affects America’s Black population every year.

Working to reverse the devastating numbers, the Cancer Outreach Workshop: Prevention, Detection, Intervention provides information forums, free mammograms, and cancer screenings to the open public four times a year. “The outcomes in African Americans are worse for breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreas and stomach cancer to name but a few,” said Dr. Anton Bilchik, director and co-founder of the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI), in a statement for press. “This is likely due to socioeconomic differences and lack of access to health care.”

An event to educate minorities on the importance of being proactive about personal health will be held in Carson, Calif, in partnership with The Global Wellness Project. “There are about 250,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in this country each year,” said Dr. Thomas Johnson, who is set to speak at the March 24 workshop. “About 20 percent are African American. Our charge is to try to get Black men to get screened. For some reason Black men are reluctant to get involved in the preventive aspects of their health.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cancers attached to sites in the body such as stomach affects 9.8 percent of the Black population, as opposed to 8.1 percent of Caucasians and 6.2 percent of Latino Americans. While not all cancers can be prevented, medical officials encourage screenings, vaccines, healthy eating and exercising to avoid becoming another cancer statistic.

“The African American community should know not to be afraid,” said Dr. Ronald Hurst, director of CORI. “Fear becomes our greatest obstacle. Men don’t come because we think we’re invincible. As doctors, in our best state we provide reactionary medicine. We need to get ahead of cancer. We’ve got to get to the people before they get cancer.”

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Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer