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Special Spotlight: Heritage Observance Month and Cancer Awareness Highlights

February is Black History Month

During the month of February, CRCHD joins the rest of our nation in highlighting Black History Month. We respectfully observe the history of this rich population by recognizing its achievements and showing our appreciation for their contribution of important milestones throughout our country's history.

Despite recent declines in cancer death rates among African Americans and advances in cancer prevention and treatment, this population continues to experience a disproportionately higher share of the cancer burden. African Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African American women and is the second leading cause of cancer death. Triple negative breast cancer is significantly higher in African American women than any other ethnicity. African American men have far higher death rates from prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.

February is also recognized as National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Cancer is caused by a wide range of contributing factors. Choosing a healthy behavior pattern and avoiding exposure to various environmental risks can aid in the prevention of developing cancer.

In light of this, CRCHD would like to recognize the contributions of NIH/NCI-supported researchers through their research, prevention, and training initiatives aimed specifically at addressing the disparate effect that cancer has on our underserved populations.

The PACHE U54 partnership between University of California San Diego and San Diego State University is attempting to use nanoparticles to deliver prostate cancer vaccines, hoping that a single-course treatment might surmount problems of noncompliance among males, particularly African American males who experience multiple barriers in access to and utilization of healthcare services.

CRCHD's Community Networks Program Centers (CNPC) is involved in community-based participatory research interventions. CNPC-Deep South, under the leadership of Dr. Edward Patridge, adapted the, "WALK: Feel Alive" heart health and fitness program. It was originally developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is aimed at rural and urban underserved African Americans. During this walk, team members share valuable information on cancer awareness and cancer screening messages.

In the field of cancer prevention, the CNPC-Tampa Bay team, under Dr. Cathy Meade, trains barbers to deliver prostate cancer health education from their own shops. With a 75% success rate, this innovative initiative clearly demonstrated that by bringing health messages into daily life, screening and prevention behaviors became normalized at both the individual and community levels.

The links below will assist you with learning more about cancer as it relates to the African American population, as well as the topic of cancer prevention overall:

Updated: 02/04/14