(April 15, 2015) – April is National Minority Health Month, and it provides an opportunity to highlight disparities in care while continuing to push for progress toward health equity among ethnic minorities. The American Cancer Society is at work this month and year-round to make cancer education and screenings available to people who have little access to quality healthcare.
Disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2015.
“Research shows that ethnic minorities, as well as other medically underserved groups, have higher rates of cancer mortality because many are less likely to be diagnosed early or receive optimal treatment. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons – including access to quality health care – these population groups have not benefited equally from advances in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment,” said American Cancer Society Chief Medical Officer Dr. Otis Brawley.
For those who bear the brunt of this unequal cancer burden, getting potentially lifesaving screening tests can be difficult, if not impossible. Because of strong collaboration with partnering organizations, the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN are able to reach these critical populations and help save more lives.
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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. As the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, we're finding cures and ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit cancer.org or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.