Tag Archives: cancer screening

DHEC Data Helps Cancer Screening Outreach Efforts for African American Men

In June 2022, the SC General Assembly awarded the SC Cancer Alliance $500,000 to implement recommendations outlined in the Data Brief-Cancer in African American Men report. This report was created with information from Cancer in South Carolina: 20-year Trends for Incidence, Mortality, and Survival report, a document developed by the SC Central Cancer Registry (SCCCR), South Carolina Cancer Alliance, and DHEC’s Division of Cancer Prevention. DHEC’s Office of Vital Statisticsalso provides data for the Registry.

The data included in this report summarized 20 years of population-based state cancer reporting between 1996 and 2015. It included information by mortality and relative survival for the major cancers occurring in the Palmetto State, plus all cancers combined, providing a data-driven foundation to guide statewide cancer prevention and control efforts.

With 20 years of high-quality, a major focus of this report was on trends over time. Disparities in the occurrence of cancer is a major concern, so breaking down the data by gender and by racial or ethnic group is a key step to track progress in addressing cancer disparities.

While overall the report revealed favorable downward trends, the data also revealed areas that require renewed efforts. These areas include slightly increased rates of lung cancer and breast cancer in females, the pronounced increase in rates of melanoma of the skin, and the that the burden of cancer is highest among the state’s African American men.

Cancer in African American Men in South Carolina Report

In response to the 20-Year Trends Report, SC Central Cancer Registry, South Carolina Cancer Alliance, and Division of Cancer Prevention and Control developed the Cancer in African American Men in South Carolina Report in 2019 noting African American men experience substantially higher rates of cancer incidence and mortality compared to other population groups. It was the first SC-based publication produced that focused on the factors contributing to these specific disparities.

The report addressed the issue and supports the urgent need to address cancer disparities and to ensure that statewide cancer prevention and control efforts focus on this priority population. The report and the supplemental material were structured to provide:

  • Data that supports the cancer incidence, mortality, and survival disparities in African American men,
  • Supporting factors contributing to the fundamental causes of cancer in African American men as defined in the socioecological framework, and
  • Evidence-based recommendations for action.

As a result of the Cancer in African American Men in South Carolina Report, the South Carolina Cancer Alliance created the Health Equity Project with grant money from the CDC and private funding. The Project provided grants for organizations to improve health equity in South Carolina. Applicants’ goals and objectives were to align with those of the 20-Year Trends Report, Cancer in African American in South Carolina Report, and Healthy People 2030.

In 2020, six grants were awarded for initiatives that implemented over 80 patient and provider educational events, 55 educational training sessions for African American males, and three healthcare providers who established policies to help increase cancer screening referrals targeted African American males.

As a follow up to the Cancer in African American Report, the SC Cancer Alliance and the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health released a data brief highlighting the burden of cancer on African American men in June 2021. The South Carolina Cancer Alliance utilized the data from the SCCCR and recommendations outlined in the data brief in the request for funding from the South Carolina General Assembly.

Recommendations Moving Forward

With the $500,000 recently awarded by the General Assembly, the SC Cancer Alliance will implement three of the four recommendations outlined in the Data Brief-Cancer in African American Men.

Recommendation 1

Improve access to screening services and early detection care by expanding safety net programs. Expansion of safety net screening and early detection programs results in earlier identification of cancer, timely access to treatments, and lower mortality rates.

The Alliance will offer providers grants to providers to develop stop-gap funds to increase cancer screening in men.

Recommendation 2

Engage community health workers with customized resources to target African American men to reinforce the need for ongoing screenings and early detection services. Recruiting community health workers to educate patients about their health, the need for screenings and early identification, and assisting in overcoming structural barriers is an evidence-based method to improve health outcomes.

The Alliance will implement a lay navigation program to link patients with available prevention and early detection services.

Recommendation 3

Mobilize communities to help increase cancer education and outreach efforts to targeted populations. Community engagement is imperative when connecting with African American men and addressing barriers they face when accessing cancer screening services.

The Alliance will:

  • Coordinate local community-based screening events to ensure screening services are optimized
  • Engage and mobilize community members to promote cancer prevention and early detection in designated areas determined using data from the SC Central Cancer Registry
  • Offer financial support to various groups to reduce structural barriers to cancer screenings
  • Annually educate the community on the social determinates of health and the importance of
  • addressing health disparities

All efforts and programs will be evaluated annually to ensure optimized outcomes and accountability.

For more information on African American Men and Cancer in SC collaborative efforts visit https://www.sccancer.org/community/education/cancer-in-african-american-men/

For more information about South Carolina Cancer Alliance, visit www.sccancer.org or call (803) 708-4732.

Continue reading

From Other Blogs: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, protect your hearing, flu & more.

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Be Informed. Be Empowered.

Do you ever find yourself wondering what is right for you when it comes to breast cancer screening or treatment? Having the right information about prevention, screening, and treatment for breast cancer can help you decide what’s best for you.

As we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to highlight how promoting the right tools not only gets the word out about breast cancer, but also empowers you in making the best decisions for your health.  —  From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s The Topic Is Cancer blog

October is “National Protect Your Hearing Month.”

October is “Better Hearing and Speech Month,” a time to raise awareness about what you need to do to protect your hearing.

Did You Know?

Repeated exposure to loud noise over the years can damage your hearing—long after exposure has stopped.

This is just one of the many informative facts available on CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health’s new hearing loss website: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/default.html. — From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

Never Miss a Flu Vaccine. Here Are the Reasons #WhyIFightFlu

The reason #WhyIFightFlu? It saves lives.

Americans experienced one of the most severe flu seasons in four decades last year with flu activity remaining high well into March 2018. Millions of Americans became sick with the flu, an estimated 900,000 were hospitalized, and 80,000 died from flu and its complications. — From the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) blog

3 Reasons Why Handwashing Should Matter to You

Most of us are familiar with the parental-like voice in the back of our minds that helps guide our decision-making—asking us questions like, “Have you called your grandmother lately?” For many that voice serves as a gentle, yet constant reminder to wash our hands.

Handwashing with soap and water is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to loved ones. — From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

School Lunch: Lots 2 Love

While many students were busy enjoying summer vacation, our nation’s hardworking school nutrition professionals were also staying busy, dedicating their time to training and meal planning for the upcoming school year. During National School Lunch Week (October 15-19), USDA recognizes the tireless effort and love that goes into preparing school lunches for 30 million children.

Well before our youngsters headed back to class, this past summer both the Minnesota Department of Education and the Montana Department of Public Instruction made the most of their Team Nutrition Training Grant funding. This is important funding that provides culinary job skills training for their respective school nutrition professionals. The trainings help school managers and cooks prepare healthy meals that use local foods in their menus, while reflecting regional and local food preferences. — From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

5 tips to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 90 percent of adults and children do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Palmetto Health Heart Hospital dietitian Lisa Akly offers these tips to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog