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Cancer Awareness & Screenings: Get FREE Prostate Cancer Screening Sept. 17-18

Upcoming Program: Attend the FREE Men’s Health Initiative and get screened for Prostate Cancer, BP, Diabetes Screening and More for MEN:

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 – 8:00am to Noon – Lincoln Community Health Center, 1301 Fayetteville St., Durham

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 – noon-4pm – Duke South Clinics, 200 Trent Drive, Durham

Cancer is the leading cause of death in North Carolina and in Durham. Although it doesn’t always have symptoms, fortunately, cancer can often be prevented or found early through screening, and when it’s more treatable. Despite overall improvements in care, African Americans still suffer the greatest burden across the most common types of cancer. The reasons for these differences are complex and can include limited access to resources and information, lack of screening for cancer, and unequal treatment in the health care system.

Some research has also suggested that biology and genetics may explain why African American breast, lung and prostate cancer patients tend to do worse than patients of other races, even with the same medical treatment. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your health and minimize the likelihood of you getting the disease or dying from it.

First, it is important to have regularly conversation with your doctor and get the screenings you need regularly and on-time. In fact, studies show that almost 40-60% of cancers could be eliminated by changing our behaviors such as healthy eating, not smoking, exercising regularly and controlling your weight!

Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the United States. This buildup of abnormal cells in a man’s prostate — a gland below the bladder and in front of the rectum — often has no early symptoms and usually grows very slowly. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease. However, African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer and die from compared to white men. Finding and treating prostate cancer early leads to better outcomes.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms: Frequent, often-urgent need to urinate, need to strain to urinate, blood in urine, dribbling or leaking after urination, and a weak urine system.

Men at greatest risk have at least one the following characteristics; 

  • Are typically 50 years old and older
  • Have a family history of prostate cancer
  • Are African American
  • Have a diet high in saturated fats

Prostate Cancer Screening: A prostate screening incudes both a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test which is done through a basic blood test, and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) where a provider physically examines your prostate.  We recommend that you discuss guidelines with physician for your physician to for you to determine whether you should get screened for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor before you decide!

Breast Cancer: Approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.  Although more white women get breast cancer, more African American women are more likely to die from the disease. Lack of information, resources, and clarity around guidelines regarding breast cancer screening, particularly around Triple Negative breast cancer that impacts black women more than any other group, can be credited in part to these disparities. Breast cancer occurs mostly in women and although rare, it can occur in men.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

The primary risk factors for breast cancer are getting older, being a woman, and genes along with family history. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk, such as changing risk factors that you can control. There is a 97% survival rate for breast cancers that are detected early.  Most lumps are not cancer; benign lumps can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. As recommended by the American Cancer Society, any breast lump or change needs to be checked by a health care provider to determine whether it is benign or cancer, and whether it might impact your future cancer risk. The importance of mammograms and being aware of changes in your breast is critical to detecting breast cancer at an early stage.

At age 40 women should start the conversation about breast cancer screening (and mammograms). There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer but if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you can talk to your doctor about early screening and genetic testing for mutations in genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, such as the BRCA genes. For a list of more risk factors visit the Americancancersociety.org. For information about low or no cost screening, call the state program at 919.707.5300.

Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Experts estimate that over 200,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed each year slightly more cases in men than women. Over 150,000 Americans die of the disease each year. Lung cancer occurs most often between the ages of 55 and 65. The percentage of African-American men diagnosed with lung cancer each year is at least 30% higher than among white men, even though they have similar rates of smoking as white men.

LUNG CANCERCommon symptoms may include breathing trouble, such as shortness of breath, constant chest pain, a hoarse voice, a persistent cough that will not go away and coughing up blood. The most important thing you can do to prevent lung and bronchial cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke and avoid secondhand

smoke. Smoke from other people’s cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is called secondhand smoke. Radon and second-hand smoke can also cause lung cancer.

Ask your doctor about an x-ray (low dose CT scan) for lung cancer screening. This is recommended in adults 55 to 80 years of age who have smoked for 30 pack years or who have quit within the last 15 years. For more information, visit the Lung Cancer Initiative at http://www.lungcancerinitiativenc.org.

Colon Cancer: Colon cancer ranks third in cancer deaths and is 90% preventable. Julius Wilder, MD. PhD., Gastroenterologist and Transplant Hepatologist at Duke Cancer Institute states, “In our community, minorities and the medically under-served have the lowest colon cancer screening rates. Common COLON CANCERsymptoms of colon cancer may include blood in the stool and abdominal pain. Colonoscopies, the screening for colon cancer, can decrease mortality from colon cancer by 50%. Screening allows for removal of polyps and early detection of cancer, thus improving both incidence and mortality rates. To address racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal screening in North Carolina, discuss colonoscopy with your primary care physician or a patient navigator at Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities.”

Ways to Decrease Risk of Cancer:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Control Your Weight
  • Eat Healthy and add fiber
  • Don’t Smoke or use tobacco products
  • Limit Drinking Alcohol in Moderation
  • Get Recommended Screenings
  • Get Recommended Vaccinations
  • Get Regular Check-Ups
  • Protect Your Skin from Direct Sun Rays
  • Avoid Stress and Rage

Upcoming Program: Attend the FREE Men’s Health Initiative and get screened for Prostate Cancer, BP, Diabetes Screening and More for MEN:

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 – 8:00am to Noon – Lincoln Community Health Center, 1301 Fayetteville St., Durham

Sunday, September 18, 2016 – noon-4pm – Duke South Clinics, 200 Trent Drive, Durham

Remember the ABC’s:

A= Ask your doctor about screening recommendations.   B= Be knowledgeable about your family history; know yourself and your risks; C= Control your weight by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly.

 

For More Information:

  • For more information on screenings or ways to quit smoking, please call the Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities’ Community Navigator at 919-684-6535.

This Month’s Health Tip is a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with  Duke Cancer Institute’s Office of Health Equity and Disparities.

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Health Tips

Health Tips are a message from Community Health Coalition, Inc. and is written in partnership with Central Carolina Black Nurses’ Council Inc., The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, NC Mutual Life Insurance Company and Duke Regional Hospital.

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