Why We Do This

What Drives Us?

According to reports from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), prostate cancer deaths amongst African-American men are higher than any other ethnic community in the nation.

In the attempt to provide more insight, the American Cancer Society reports that “access to insurance and healthcare, as well as health education, play an important role in maintaining one’s health.
Unfortunately, it is recognized that a certain segment of African American men do not have access to these tools.” Moreover, ACS notes, “still, some key statistics in the report show a continuing racial divide”:

Prostate cancer is 2.4 times more deadly for black men than for white men.

On average, by the time black Americans are made aware that they have the disease, it is often more advanced than for newly diagnosed white Americans. There are fewer treatment options for later stage prostate cancer.

For all major cancers, African Americans are less likely than whites to survive five years after diagnosis — even when their cancers are diagnosed at the same stage. African-Americans, ACS continues, have “less access to appropriate and timely treatment” than do white Americans.

ACS concludes that its findings “makes clear there is a need for more focus on improving socioeconomic factors and providing educational opportunities that can help further lessen cancer’s unequal burden on African Americans.”

However, the morbidity rate for prostate cancer, according to NVSS, has declined nearly 50% in the African-American community since 1999; perhaps due to wellness and preventive advocacy provided by community health fairs and foundations such as Jazz For Prostate Cancer Awareness™.

Still, the question remains – why does the incidence of fatalities remain higher within the African-American community than in any other community in the United States?