April is Minority Cancer Awareness Month, a time when the medical community shines a light on the health disparities that impact communities of color both here in the city and across the U.S. It also brings renewed attention to the importance of regular cancer screenings for people of color.
Doctor Carol Brown, Memorial Sloan Kettering's Chief Health Equity Officer, spoke with NY1's Ruschell Boone about the disparities and how important it is to get checked regularly.
Brown believes one of the main reasons people avoid getting screened is hesitancy. "One of the problems with cancer is fear, and one thing that we all share — no matter the color of our skin or the language we speak — is that when we hear the word cancer we're afraid," Brown said.
Brown says there are some cancers that affect different races and ethnicities disproportionately, like lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer. She added, optimistically, "there are great screening tests for all of those cancers and when those cancers are detected early they are very curable."