Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement recognizing National Minority Cancer Awareness Week:

"Today marks the beginning of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.  It is critical that we use this week to bring attention to the health challenges facing minority communities and the disparities that exist with cancer.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Black men and women have the highest cancer death rates of all ethnic groups with colon cancer having a death rate nearly 40 percent higher than the general population.  Further, the Intercultural Cancer Council reports that liver cancer rates among Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans are higher than White Americans.  A recent study also showed lower cancer screening rates among Hispanics versus non- Hispanics.

"These disparities are unacceptable.  As our healthcare capabilities continue to improve, we must ensure that all communities benefit.  By raising awareness and making measured investments in the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of Minority Health, we can improve health services and research, increase early cancer detection, and expand networks and access to combat health disparities among minority populations throughout the country.  To learn more about cancer health disparities, visit the CDC’s website."