African American men face higher cancer rates than other ethnic groups

African American Men's Health Forum

12/21/2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Denise Richbourg
843-685-9205
Denise.fitz@cancer.org
sacancernews.org

S.C. African American Men’s Health Forum Focuses on Healthy Lifestyles
Free annual conference offers health information and screenings

Columbia, SC – The American Cancer Society has opened registration for the 2011 South Carolina African American Men’s Health Forum. The event, themed “Taking Care of the Man in the Mirror,” will take place on Saturday, Feb. 5 at the Brookland Banquet and Conference Center in West Columbia from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. Registration is free for the first 500 men who pre-register by calling 877-227-9398 or visiting cancerhealthforums.org.
African American men have higher rates of cancer and other chronic diseases than white men. In an effort to address this disparity, one man at a time, the American Cancer Society and partner organizations are putting on the conference to raise awareness about health issues affecting African American men.

“Our goal is to help men better understand and be proactive about their health,” said Columbia accountant and businessman Dr. Gary E. Bell, DHA., who serves as co-chair of the event, along with Wendell Price. “We have highly-regarded African American health speakers, informational displays and free screenings. We want men throughout the state to attend. We would love to see groups and churches bring in buses from their area,” Bell said.

The free conference provides informative, interactive sessions on topics including oral health, obesity, prostate health, overall disease prevention and early detection and prevention of cancer, among other topics. A special session for young men 12-18 years old will address teen pregnancy prevention from a male perspective.

Racial and ethnic minorities are expected to account for a disproportionate number of cancer deaths this year. African American men, in particular, have a 20 percent higher incidence rate and a 40 percent higher death rate from all cancer combined than white men. The proportion of African Americans who are diagnosed with more advanced stages of cancer is higher than whites.

The conference is organized by the American Cancer Society and sponsored by SCE&G.

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