The Truth About Cancer: Overcoming Barriers in the African American Community


To engage African American community leaders and professionals in a discussion on overcoming barriers to cancer screening, early detection, and treatment

Date: January 20, 2010
Prepared by Blessing Nnoruka, Intern American Cancer Society, March 2010

American Cancer SocietyCalifornia Dialogue on Cancer

On Thursday January 21, 2010, American Cancer Society held The Truth About Cancer: Overcoming Barriers in the African American Community forum at Shriners hospital. The purpose of the forum was to address the misconceptions regarding cancer care, identify ways to overcome cancer care barriers, and create effective public services announcements targeting the African American community. The presenters were Denise Deluz, Joe Johnson, Monica Brown a Ph.D Epidemiologist at California Cancer Registry and Rev. Tammie Denyse the founder and president of Carries TOUCH/African American Breast Cancer organization. The forum was sponsored by American Cancer Society in collaboration with California Dialogue on Cancer through a grant to the Creating Healthier Communities Diversity Coalition of Greater Sacramento in partnership with National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Sacramento National Association for the Advancement of Colored people and the Greater Sacramento Urban League. Additional funding was provided by NCI's Cancer Information Services.

The participant packets included booklets of the following titles; "Cancer Facts & Figures for African American 2009-2010", "America's Health crisis: What We're Doing and How You Can Help", "California Cancer Facts & Figure 2010", "What Is Cancer, Cancer Resource Network". Also included were print-outs of various definitions associated with cancer as well as Power Point slide print-outs. The program began with a presentation by Denise Deluz. She discussed the goals of the event. The next few presenters were panelists; Joe Johnson presented Cancer 101, Dr. Monica Brown talked about Cancer Facts and Statistics and Rev. Tammie Denyse presented Challenging Myths & Misconceptions. In the remainder of the time of the forum, questions were answered by presenters and healthy meals such as macaroni & cheese, greens, baked chicken and corn bread were served. The forum ended with an evaluation of the program.

Although the presenters touch on relevant topics in bringing cancer awareness to the African American community, attendees had major concerns such as: spreading out the awareness about the misconception to different parts of the African American communities. During the next forum, organizers will have in mind the participants concerns in an effort to better improve the forum and facilitate the needs of the African American community.