CINCINNATI—African-Americans have the highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the second-leading cause of death among Native Americans over age 45; also, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have the highest incidence rates for both liver and stomach cancers and are twice as likely to die from these cancers as whites, and although Hispanics and Latinos have lower incidence and death rates for the most common cancers than non-Hispanic whites, they are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of disease.
With these national cancer health disparities known, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Cancer Institute is doing its part to tackle this issue locally and is dedicating its fifth annual retreat to the topic.
The event, "Making Cancer Care the Great Equalizer: Science and Solutions for Health Disparities in Cancer,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 15, at the Streitmann Center in Over-the-Rhine, 235 W. 12th St., and is being held for cancer clinicians and researchers at the university, as an open forum to discuss and learn about this issue.
The day will include presentations from national cancer experts as well as a panel discussion and remarks from UC President Neville Pinto, PhD.
Speakers and talks are as follows:
- "Health Disparities in Cancer; Progress and Opportunities,” William Barrett, MD, director of the UC Cancer Institute and chair and professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UC College of Medicine; Thomas Herzog, MD, deputy director of the UC Cancer Institute and professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UC College of Medicine; and Maria Espinola, PsyD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the UC College of Medicine.
- "Reducing Cancer Health Disparities Through Community Engagement: Working with Faith-Based Organizations,” Lorna Haughton McNeill, PhD, associate professor and chair in the Department of Health Disparities at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- "Eliminating Disparities: Reject Common Dogma,” Michele Cote, PhD, associate professor and associate center director for education, at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University.
- "Cervical Cancer Incidence and Mortality Ethnic Inequalities: Can Epigenetics Contribute to Closing the Gap?” Cathrine Hoyo, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and co-leader of the Integrative Health Science Facility Core in the Center for Human Health and the Environment.
"It is imperative that all members of our community benefit from the advances in cancer prevention, detection and care that are occurring in our community, spearheaded by the university,” says Barrett.
"When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their care has to be outstanding, no matter their means or background.”
"This event is a genuine opportunity for us to reach out to our community and to assure that cancer care at UC is primed to overcome disparities that can radically diminish the effects of cancer treatment, whether they be due to race, gender, socioeconomics, education-level or other factors,” adds Herzog.