Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes National Minority Cancer Awareness Week

April 11, 2008

Tampa, FL– While many Americans are healthier than ever before, minorities and the poor are more likely to get cancer and die from the disease. Moffitt Cancer Center is focusing on the crisis of health disparities during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week (NMCAW), April 20-26.

Statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) tell a sobering story about minority health incidence and outcomes:

● African-American men develop prostate cancer at a higher rate and die at a rate two-and-a-half times higher than white men.

● African-American women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are less likely than white women to survive five years after diagnosis.

● Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanics.

● Hispanics have the highest rate of cervical cancer among all groups except for the Vietnamese and twice the incidence rates of non-Hispanic white women.

“The main reason for the disparities includes lack of insurance coverage, access to care and quality of care, low socioeconomic status, poor health behaviors, and racism and discrimination,” said B. Lee Green, Ph.D., health researcher and vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity at Moffitt. “I believe in order for us to address this issue we have to get out of our comfortable state and have to be outraged by this issue.”

Moffitt will hold a series of events during NMCAW that focus on cancer prevention, early detection and screening for high risk communities. The week-long activities will conclude on April 26 with a health and education forum in the Stabile Research Building at Moffitt, 12902 Magnolia Drive, from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. To learn more about how Moffitt is observing NMCAW, visit NMCAW Events.

Moffitt and its Office of Institutional Diversity are working diligently to grow their health disparities research projects, improve access to cancer care, and increase cancer awareness and prevention education opportunities for minorities. To learn more about the work of the Office of Institutional Diversity, call (813) 745-6675 or e-mail diversity@moffitt.org.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center (www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

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