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"Healthy Families Build Strong Communities"   

 
 

 

 

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The following are excerpts from the South Central Los Angeles Unit of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures.

listbut.gif (906 bytes)President's Message

listbut.gif (906 bytes)"It Takes A Whole Village To Raise And Educate A Child"

listbut.gif (906 bytes)African American Men's Health Project

listbut.gif (906 bytes)Breast Health Bonus:  8 Tips For Good Mammograms

listbut.gif (906 bytes)Cancer In Minorities

listbut.gif (906 bytes)Advocacy & Public Policy

 

Past Presidents Message

As the first year of my presidential term ends I am pleased to announce that our South Central Los Angeles Unit has forged a truly personal relationship with the community of the Watts-Willowbrook area.  We have been able to establish the foundation for the American Cancer Society's Mission 2015 by communicating the program's goal of a 50% across the board reduction in the incidence in cancer cases in our community.ACSpic.jpg (34938 bytes)

In setting the goals for the second year mission our first concern is to recruit and establish a Board and volunteer staff that will reflect and interact with the culturally diverse community our unit serves.  Here, this unit will continue to seek information and resource services for our constituency.  Our second goal for this year is to challenge our community to make changes that increase the quality of our everyday lives, by making good health a priority.  These combined goals will meet the ACS Mission 2015 objectives.

We are especially proud of the partnerships our unit has forged with many health care providers and community based service programs.   These liaisons have proved invaluable in education and delivery of health support services to the Watts-Willowbrook community.

In closing I would like to express thanks and appreciation to all the dedicated individuals who have supported the community activities of the South Central Los Angeles Unit.  I am looking forward to working with every one of you, again, this year as we approach the new millennium and its challenges.   God Bless.

Ron Beavers, Ph.D.
Past-President SCLA Unit
American Cancer Society

 

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"It Takes A Village to Educate and Raise a Child"

Educating children has become a collaborative effort.   The ills of society have made it impossible for schools to educate without assistance from parents, community residents, churches, community organizations and local agencies.  As a result, the LAUSD has restructured Student health and Human Services to include mandated collaboration as an integral part of service delivery.  Resource Coordinating Councils are the foundation of the service delivery to each cluster area.

The Fremont Cluster Resource Coordinating Council includes representatives from local community organizations serving the Watts-Willowbrook area.  The following services are available to the students and families of the Fremont Cluster:

    • The American Cancer Society South Central Unit is actively participating by providing information on health issues and cancer prevention to our schools and families.

    • The Community Health Council of South Los Angeles collaborates with the Jack & Jill of America Foundation and the ACS South Central Unit in a Leadership Training Program at Fremont High School.

    • The Weingart Foundation recently funded an after school enrichment program in the Cluster.  The collaborators are Weingart, YMCA, Challengers Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, and the LAPD Jeopardy program.

    • Through the Rolling Readers Program, volunteers are on elementary school campuses, reading to children and encouraging a love for reading.

    • Drew Child Development Corporation, Drew University and King Hospital are on campuses providing health and science classroom information.  These efforts will result in children choosing more appropriate lifestyles and becoming productive and successful adults.

    • A resource Directory is available to parents, students and staff for the Fremont Cluster schools.

Education is everybody's business and this means YOU.   Please call Bunny Withers, Organization Facilitator for the Fremont Cluster, at 310-515-3072 to become involved.

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African American Men's Health Project

This year the African American Men's Health Project in conjunction with the support and assistance of the American Cancer Society South Central Unit launched its first Annual Men's Health Week for the week June 22-26, 1998.  The event's theme was "Help us, help you".

Thirty-six speakers discussed topics including Prostate Cancer, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, AIDS/HIV Projects, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Stress Management, Community Activism, and Employment Opportunities.

The Health Project emphasized the need for screening for prostate cancer for all men 40 years old and over.  Men can call 213-295-6571 to arrange an appointment at T.H.E. Clinic located at 3860 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.   Free screenings 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Breast Health Bonus:  8 Tips For Good Mammograms

1.  Ask to see the FDA certificate that is issued to all facilities that meet high professional standards of safety and quality.

2.  use a facility that either specializes in mammography or performs many mammograms a day.

3.  If you are satisfied that the facility is of high quality, continue to go there on a regular basis so that your mammograms can be compared each year.

4.  If you change facilities, ask for your old mammograms to bring with you to the new facility so that they can be compared to the new ones.

5.  If you have sensitive breasts, try having your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be least tender.  Try to avoid the week right before your period to lessen discomfort.

6.  Don't wear deodorant powder or cream under your arms - it may interfere with the quality of the mammogram.

7.  Bring a list of the places, dates of mammograms, biopsies or other breast treatments you have had before.

8.  If you do not hear from your physician within 10 days, do not assume that your mammogram was normal - confirm this by calling your physician or the facility.

In addition to "8 Tips For Good Mammograms", the American Cancer Society has other materials to help you promote effective breast health at your workplace.  Some easily implemented ideas include:

    • Displaying posters on company bulletin boards.

    • Distributing magnets, bookmarks and brochures in the lunchroom.

    • Holding a "Special Touch" class at your work site to educate co-workers about breast self-exam.

    • Using your company newsletter or e-mail to inform employees of the American Cancer Society's October Low Cost Mammography program.  Many local radiological facilities will be providing low-cost mammograms to women who meet program guidelines.

For additional information on any breast health programs or materials, call the South Central Unit at 213-757-9992.

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Cancer In Minorties

In 1999, about 1,221,800 cancers are expected to be diagnosed in the United States and 563,100 Americans are expected to die of this disease.

Overall, African Americans are more likely to develop cancer than persons of any other racial and ethnic group.  During 1990-1995, incidence rates were 445.8 per 100,000 among African Amercians, 405.2 per 100,000 among whites, 278.1 per 100,000 among Hispanics, 277.9 per 100,000 among Asian/Pacific islanders, and 153.8 per 100,000 among American Indians.  During these same years, cancer incidence rates decreased among whites and Hispanics (about -1.0% per year) and remained relatively stable among other racial and ethnic groups. 

The incidence rate of female breast cancer is highest among white women (113.2 per 100,000) and lowest among American Indian women (31.9 per 100,000).  African-American women have the highest incidence rates of colon and rectum (45.5 per 100,000) and lung and bronchus cancer (46.4 per 100,000) followed by whites, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and American Indians.

African-American men have the highest incidence rates of prostate (224.3 per 100,000), colon and rectum (59.4 per 100,000), and lung and bronchus cancer (114.4 per 100,000).  African-American men are at least 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer than men of any other racial and ethnic groups.   Similar to rates in American Indian women, American Indian men have consistently lower rates of cancer incidence than men of other racial and ethnic groups.

African Americans are about 34% more likely to die of cancer than whites, and are 2 times more likely to die of cancer than Asian/Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Hispanics.  During 1990-1995, cancer mortality rates were 224.8 per 100,000 among African Americans, 168.2 per 100,000 among whites, 105.3 per 100,000 among Hispanics, 104.0 per 100,000 among Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 103.0 per 100,000 among American Indians.  Cancer mortality rates for many racial and ethnic groups have begun to decline recently.  During 1990-1995, mortality rates decreased among whites (-0.4% per year), African Americans (-0.8% per year) and Hispanics (-0.6% per year); remained stable among Asian Pacific Islanders; and increased slightly among American Indians (0.4% per year).

African-American women are more likely to die of breast (31.5 per 100,000) and colon and rectum cancer (20.1 per 100,000) than are women of any other racial and ethnic group.  White and African-American women have the highest rates of lung and bronchus cancer mortality followed by American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic women.

African-American men have the highest mortality rates of colon and rectum (28.0 per 100,000), lung and bronchus (102.0 per 100,000), and prostate cancer (55.0 per 100,000).  African American men are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer than men of other racial and ethnic groups.

For more information about cancer in minority populations, please inquire about the American Cancer Society publication Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans (8614.98)

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Advocacy & Public Policy

Cancer is a political, as well as a medical, social, psychological and economic issue.  Policy-makers at all levels of government make decisions every day which impact the lives of more than 8 million cancer survivors, their families and all potential cancer patients.  To positively impact those decisions, the Society has identified advocacy as one of its top corporate priorities and works nationwide to promote positive cancer policies throughout government.

In concert with its cancer research, prevention and control initiatives, the Society's advocacy initiative strives to influence public policies with special emphasis on laws or regulations to:

    • Improve and ensure access for all Americans - particularly the poor and underserved - to a range of health care services for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for cancer patients and those potentially affected by cancer.

    • Protect individuals and families from discrimination by employers or health insurers based on genetic information, family history or requests for genetic services.

    • Increase federal funding for cancer research and encourage the implementation of incentives for private sponsorship to help prevent and cure this disease.

    • Regulate the use, sale, distribution, marketing and advertising of tobacco products - particularly to youth - and promote tobacco control policies nationwide.

    • Ensure state and federal governments budget funds for successful cancer control programs which cut incidence and mortality rates.

American Cancer Society advocacy efforts are successful because they rely on the combined voices of a community-based grassroots advocacy network of Society volunteers, health care professionals, cancer survivors and other partners who have successfully influenced or supported laws and regulations to:

    • Support the role of the US Food and Drug Administration in regulating tobacco products.

    • Enact health insurance market reforms to expand coverage and ensure portability and continuity of health insurance coverage for individuals with a history of cancer or other serious illness.

    • Improve third-party coverage for cancer prevention and treatment and clinical trials, including payment for routine patient care costs.

    • Broaden the scope of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to give medically underserved women the necessary tools to fight breast and cervical cancers.

    • Increase federal funding for research, prevention and cancer control activities.

    • Work with the US Congress to broadly define investments in cancer research so that cancer can be fought on all fronts - not just in the laboratory.

Cancer Resources

The American Cancer Society has identified important areas where resource allocation can have an important impact on cancer incidence and mortality.  These steps begin with cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and research.  Urging legislative bodies to assist in funding these efforts moves everyone that much closer to our ultimate goal - the cure for cancer.

    • More resources should be used to prevent cancer as scientific advances allow and as capacity for prevention increases.

    • More support for programs which bring vital cancer control tools - cancer awareness, screening, and treatment programs - to all Americans.

    • More funding is needed to answer the public's call for an increased investment in research to further today's knowledge to the next level of cancer breakthroughs.

The Poor and Underserved

Despite recent progress in the fight against cancer, some Americans continue to bear a disproportionate share of the nation's cancer burden.  They include racially and culturally diverse Americans who share characteristics associated with lower levels of income and educational attainment as well as persons with inadequate medical insurance and individuals who experience barreirs because of illiteracy or differing cultural beliefs, practices, and languages.

Excessive cancer mortality rates in poor and underserved populations are the result of a complex array of social forces and individual behaviors.  Eliminating the problem requires a comprehensive approach to cancer control.  Nonprofit organizations, government, and businesses must work together to address the economic businesses must work together to address the economic and structural barriers that limit access to health care services, as well as the cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral dimensions of the problem.  Biomedical, epidemiologic, and behavioral research is needed to improve our understanding of the unique impact of cancer on minority groups and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

For almost two decades, the American Cancer Society has engaged in a major initiative to understand and address the needs of populations at high risk.  As part of this initiative, the Society has convened conferences, held hearings, sponsored research, issued reports, funded demonstration projects, conducted health education and outreach and advocated for changes in public policy.

The Society's major strategies for addressing the needs of underserved Americans include:

    • Providing local leadership in cancer prevention and control in communities nationwide through collaboration with community-based organizations which address priority interests of the poor and the underserved (such as health, education, spirituality, recreation and safety).

    • Conducting and supporting medical and behavioral research to discover effective cancer prevention practices, early detection measures and treatments among high-risk populations.

    • Advocating at all levels of government for public policies, funding, and leadership that will reduce disparities in cancer incidence and mortality.  This includes advocacy for tobacco control, comprehensive school health education, and access to health care.

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Founder Gloria Harmon and Past President Kimberly of SC-ACS


Dr. Ronald Beavers

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Local members of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition .
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