Cancer Awareness Efforts Need To Reach All Racial and Ethnic Groups, Opinion Piece Says
Awareness of early cancer screening and detection methods, and "better access to cancer prevention information" need to be expanded to all California residents, particularly minorities, California Assembly member Sandré Swanson (D) writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. Swanson notes that American Cancer Society findings indicate that black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group. Various cancers also disproportionately affect Hispanics and Asian Americans, according to Swanson.
Swanson writes, "When certain groups of people are deprived of the rewards of progress in attacking this disease due to lack of access and education, disparities emerge," adding that cancer "disparities among ethnic populations have emerged because of numerous challenges, including language barriers, lack of insurance, socioeconomic inequities in work, income, education, housing conditions and overall standards of living."
In an effort to address the issue, Swanson has authored a resolution that would designate April 20-26 as National Multicultural Cancer Awareness Week. "Raising awareness is an ongoing challenge that we must all rise to -- first by urging our loved ones, friends and colleagues to get screened for cancer, then by making appointments for ourselves, and finally addressing the systemic barriers that keep people from accessing care," Swanson writes, concluding, "Cancer does not discriminate -- and neither should our efforts in giving people every tool possible to fight the disease" (Swanson, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/13).