Cancer is a disease that can affect every person regardless of age, race, or gender, but it also affects each population group differently. Unfortunately, in the United States, cancer affects some populations more than others. Here are a few examples:
- African Americans still have the highest cancer death rate and lowest survival rate of any population group in the country
- Lesbian and bisexual women may be at increased risk for breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer compared to heterosexual women
- Cancer is the leading cause of death among all Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the U.S.
Why Minority Groups Bear a Greater Burden
There are countless reasons why minority populations continue to face a greater cancer risk. Here are some highlights from the American Cancer Society’s minority cancer spotlight:
Although the American Cancer Society has reported progress in regards to closing the gap, African Americans still face a higher cancer death rate than many other races and ethnic groups in America, likely due to the following reasons:
- Higher poverty rate, which limits the availability of comprehensive insurance
- Less access to high-quality health care
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals
The American Cancer Society notes the following reasons why this population group may face greater cancer risks:
- Fear of discrimination from healthcare providers
- Low rates of health insurance due to some plans not covering unmarried partners
- Negative experiences with providers lead some people to avoid or delay medical care
How We Can All Be a Part of the Solution
At UM Charles Regional, our mission remains to provide accessible, affordable, and transparent healthcare for everyone in our community, and we stand with the American Cancer Society in working to close the gap in cancer awareness and outcomes.
You can be a part of the solution, too, by supporting the American Cancer Society, which administers initiatives such as its CHANGE grants. This initiative has, to date, provided more than 915,000 cancer screenings in underserved communities. Moreover, it also provides a wide variety of low- or no-cost resources, such as its 24/7 cancer helpline, to offer support and guidance to anyone who has questions or needs help finding the necessary cancer care.
If nothing else, we hope you’ll join us in promoting Minority Cancer Awareness Month. Your voice will go a long way in ensuring everyone is able to get the cancer care they deserve, regardless of who they are.