Twin Ports mayors join effort to help minorities beat cancerThe American Cancer Society says that black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the U.S., and American Indian men are twice as likely to die of colon cancer as other U.S. men. Latino and Asian men are two to three times more likely to get stomach and liver cancer than white men.
By: Naomi Yaeger, Duluth Budgeteer News
The American Cancer Society says that black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the U.S., and American Indian men are twice as likely to die of colon cancer as other U.S. men. Latino and Asian men are two to three times more likely to get stomach and liver cancer than white men.
With that knowledge, the mayors of Duluth and Superior have proclaimed this week Minority Cancer Awareness Week in Duluth and Superior. Regional and national employees of the American Cancer Society, as well as local leaders in the Twin Ports minority communities, kicked off the week with a press conference to call attention to the disparity.
“African Americans and American Indians are more likely to die from cancer than the U.S. population as a whole,” said Marjorie Johnson of the American Cancer Society’s health equity department. Members of those minority groups have more barriers to early detection when the cancers are the easiest to treat and cure.
“National Minority Cancer Awareness Week highlights this unequal burden of cancer and gives our community an opportunity to look at solutions together,” Johnson said.
A reception was held at the Edgewater Conference Center on Monday as an opportunity for leaders in minority communities, cancer centers, clinics and educational institutions to discuss ways to reduce cancer and increase early detection among minorities.
Free mammograms are offered today for the uninsured and underinsured.
“A lot of women are afraid to have a mammogram,” said Wendy Norgren, social service specialist at the Damiano Center. “We teach them that knowledge is power.”
The mammogram event today includes a hostess who will greet women, take health information and accompany them on a ride to Essentia Breast Center and stay with them if needed.
The mammograms services are made possible by the American Cancer Society, which partnered with Essentia Breast Center, the Damiano Center, the Duluth YWCA and the Minnesota Department of Health SAGE Program, which pays for Pap tests for uninsured or underinsured women and to provide mammograms to 32 women who qualify for SAGE or Medicaid.
Bruce Derauf, a radiologist at Essentia Health, said that more low-income people could be using the SAGE program.
In an effort to educate minority men, a free men’s health supper, especially for black, American Indian and Latino and Asian men, is scheduled for Friday from 6-8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 230 E. Skyline Parkway.
The program includes a talk, titled “Do I Need to be Screened for Prostate Cancer?” by Bret Friday, a medical oncologist at Essentia Health. Arne Vainio, a physician with the Fond du Lac Min No Aya Win clinic, will talk about colon cancer and whether screening can stop men from getting it.
The main course of the supper will be prepared by James Buchner’s Simply Southern Catering. Wild rice prepared by the Red Lake Urban office will be served as a dessert. The Red Lake urban Office Drum and Voices of Victory Choir will perform.