In the United States, minorities make up less than 31% of the population. However, there is a disproportionate burden of premature death and illness in minority populations. Blacks and ethnic minority Americans are significantly less likely than white Americans to possess health insurance, which does not allow for affordable or accessible healthcare.
To reverse this trend, and promote awareness, The National Institute on Minority Health and the HHS Office of Minority Health has designated April as National Minority Health Month – encouraging health action through education, participation in early detection programs, and getting vaccinated to reduce COVID-19 spread.
Colorectal, prostate, lung, and breast cancers account for more than half of all cancer cases among the African American community, and cancer is now the leading cause of death among Hispanic men and women, with 30% being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics experience a greater likelihood of poor quality of life following a diagnosis and, are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced or late stages of diseases.
Here are some quick facts around diagnosis and screening in minority groups from preventcancer.org:
- Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than twice as likely as other men to die from prostate cancer.
- Though Black and white women have similar breast cancer incidence rates, Black women are 40% more likely to die of the disease.
- Hispanic men and women are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be diagnosed with and die from liver cancer.
- American Indians/Alaska Natives are more likely to die from kidney cancer than other racial/ethnic groups.
- Hispanic women are less likely to be up to date on their cervical cancer screening than white women; cervical screening rates among Hispanic women decreased from 2000 to 2015.
There is positive news: recent data shows minority cancer death rates declining. A substantial number of cancers and diseases can be avoided by abstaining from tobacco, moderating alcohol intake, participating in regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet. The best way for you to create change in your community is to encourage screenings and tests!
To help, BioIQ has:
- Solutions for your employees or plan members with convenient at-home testing for many of these diseases, click here.
- Partnered with MLU Services Inc. to bring mobile COVID-19 vaccinations to rural America
- Developed educational webinars to discuss social determinates of health to improve care for medically underserved communities.
For more information and educational resources around minority health awareness, visit the National Institute on Minority Health, the HHS Office of Minority Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).