Cancer affects men and women of every age, race, ethnic background, and economic class. However, data shows that cancer severely impacts minorities and the economically disadvantaged.
Fifteen years ago, in an effort to draw attention to the disparities in cancer incidence and death rates experienced by minorities and the poor, the U.S. House of Representatives designated the third week in April as National Minority Cancer Awareness Week. The goal of the designation was to identify a time during which focused programs would be conducted to increase community awareness of the importance of cancer prevention, cancer screening and advances made in cancer treatment among populations known to be at greater risk.
Within the Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha community, during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, a series of programs and clinics are being facilitated at housing units, work sites, churches, schools, social service and community centers, to ensure that more women are able to access to breast health education, clinical examination, mammography and follow-up. Educational forums are being presented by medical ambassadors to address questions and concerns of men within the local community about prostate and colorectal disease.
Informational sessions are being presented by nurse specialists to address questions and concerns of girls, boys, men and women about infection- related cancers. Volunteer trainings are being organized and facilitated for individuals interested in becoming community health workers and health advocates. Gatherings and activities that emphasize nutrition, exercise, personal well-being, risk management and that celebrate survivorship are being organized. And, monthly forums for cancer survivors are being directed and hosted by locally and nationally recognized medical/nursing experts. Well after the end of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week this work and these clinics, programs, forums, gathering and work will continue.
For information on how you, your organization, your facility might become involved contact Bonnie Anderson at 414-220-3240.