The Colon Cancer Coalition stands united with the global movement to end systemic racism.
The events of the past several weeks have shone new light on the racial inequality and other inequities in our community. Colon Cancer Coalition believes that as an organization committed to addressing the barriers to health care, specifically colorectal cancer screening and prevention, we must raise our voice in this conversation and commit to advocating for systemic change to eradicate health care access and treatment disparities among underserved communities.
We believe access to health care, including screening and cancer care, is a basic human and civil right. We are committed to working toward a more just and equitable nation, ensuring the well-being and health for all Americans, regardless the color of their skin.
There are vast health disparities that exist in colorectal cancer care that have long been a focus of our mission. Black Americans have lower screening rates, and are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer. This results in a higher death rate for Black Americans than for white Americans.
We will continue:
- Addressing barriers that affect the general health and cancer screening rates for Black Americans; including mistrust of the medical community, and a high burden of cancer risk factors including diet, exercise, obesity, and underlying health conditions.
- Funding activities and programs aimed at educating people in traditionally underserved, specifically minority communities, and all communities about the signs and symptoms for colorectal cancer and the importance of screening starting at age 45.
- Addressing socio-economic barriers to health care, including income inequality, access to healthy food and transportation, lack of health insurance, limited access to care, and health care literacy.
- Ensuring that our community events are a welcoming, safe, and nurturing environment for all people touched by colorectal cancer, including those who have faced discrimination, ignorance and prejudice because of their color, ethnicity, or socio-econimic status.
As an organization, we believe we have a responsibility to listen and learn about specific challenges and advocate for lasting change. We must all work to end inequity and injustice. No one person nor one organization can make this change alone. The Colon Cancer Coalition will use its influence to help break down systemic racism. It is time, and we are proud to stand in solidarity with this global movement.