Event to arm Blacks with info about colorectal, breast cancer


BY JAMES HARPER, DAYTONA TIMES: Black men and women living in or near Daytona Beach are being asked to “embrace the challenge” to learn more about colorectal and breast cancer.

An “Embracing the Challenge II” event with free health information and counseling is scheduled at Bethune-Cookman College’s School of Nursing on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

There are disparities when it comes to Blacks and Whites being diagnosed and living with these cancers.

“Many factors, from poor nutrition to vitamin deficiencies – have contributed to the present state of Black’s health,” says Telma Marques, a spokesman for Circles of Care Community Projects, one of the sponsors of the event at B-CU.

“Fighting cancer is always a challenge especially for low-income, underserved populations,” Marques told the Daytona Times.

Impact on Blacks

Research shows that education, prevention and early detection of breast and colorectal cancer saves lives, states the Circles of Care Community Projects, which is based out of Palm Coast.

But Marques says that according to research published by several organizations, the cancer racial gap has begun to shrink over the past 10 years. Black death rate from all cancers continues to be about 33 percent higher in Black men and 16 percent higher in Black women compared to Whites.

“Blacks are disproportionately impacted by breast and colorectal cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of cancer than Whites,” Marques said.

Marques noted approximately one-third of cancer deaths in the U.S. this year can be attributed to poor diet, physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity.

Higher risks

Although genetic inheritance plays a role for some individuals in the risk of developing cancer, behavior modification can make an impact on cancer risk for the population as a whole, continued Marques.

She notes that breast cancer is the second most common cause for Black women, and they are less likely to be diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second and third most common cancer among Hispanics and Blacks, respectively. It’s also the third leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. This group has the highest death rate from colon and rectum cancer of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S.

Persons who qualify for free help at B-CU this Saturday are those who lack insurance or have insurance that only covers hospital care, are 40 years of age or older and meet certain income guidelines.

Services available include clinical exams, nutrition assessment and weight control, referrals for screenings and diagnostic testing, follow-up results and consultation, and vouchers for transportation assistance and other reasonable barriers.

Circles of Care Community Projects is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing comprehensive services to adults, children, and families, development of community projects, and training and technical support to professionals and providers.

For more information, call 386-676-7655 or e-mail Telma Marques at tmarques@circlesofcarecommunityprojects.org.



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