According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 2 black men and 1 in 3 black women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The lifetime probability of dying from cancer is about 1 in 4 for black men and 1 in 5 for black women. Of the more than 3.6 million foreign-born black people in the US in 2014, most were born in either Latin America (58%) or Africa (40%).
People of African descent have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group in the US for most cancers. The causes of these inequalities are complex and indicate social and economic disparities as opposed to biological differences. Socioeconomic disparities reflect inequitable access to opportunities and resources such as work, wealth, income, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment information and services. Although the overall racial disparity in cancer death rates is decreasing, in 2012, the death rate for all cancers combined was 24% higher in black men and 14% higher in black women than in white men and women, respectively. Moreover, the racial disparities for some cancers (e.g., breast) are increasing. Black people bear a disproportionately high burden of other diseases, which also impacts cancer survival. For example, the death rate for heart diseases is 26% higher in the black population than the white.
At TamBo Foundation, we are aware that stigma and shame surrounding cancer are among the main reasons many black people do not get screened regularly or seek treatment. We intend to educate and raise awareness amongst black migrant populations in the United States on the need for health screening, benefits of early detection and treatment. We are developing programs and practices specifically tailored to our target population. We aim to act as a bridge to care access and to help patients and families navigate the cancer journey.