Black History Month & Colon Cancer

February is Black History Month. It is dedicated to recognize and celebrate the achievements and culture of African Americans.

The foundations for this were established in the early twentieth century. While Carter G. Woodson was at university, he witnessed how the black community was underrepresented in the books and conversations about American history. To rectify this, in 1915, he and Jesse E Moorland founded what is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Lasting only a week, during the second week in February, the celebration of African American history and study grew quickly. Unfortunately, by the mid-1960s, the most popular U.S. history textbook for the eighth-grade only mentioned two black people in an entire century. Because of this, colleges and universities across the country transformed this week into Black History Month.

Schools and some mayors had already adopted the celebration, but it wasn’t until 1976 that President Gerald Ford decreed Black History Month a national observance. “In celebrating Black History Month,” Ford said in his message, “we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

This year the theme for Black History Month is “African Americans and the Vote.”

For more information on Black History Month, you can visit the website of the ASALH: https://asalh.org/

See what one of our staff members thinks of Black History Month and who her role models are in the videos below:

Colon Cancer in the African American community

Because it is Black History Month, we want to highlight a condition that is more prevalent to the African American community, COLON CANCER.

African Americans have a higher chance of being diagnosed at a later stage and with a higher mortality rate. Because of this, many gastroenterologists will recommend starting screenings at age 45 instead of 50*.

Regrettably, there are a couple of barriers that stop those in the African American community from getting screened.

  • Cultural Barriers
    • Mistrust of the medical community
    • High burden of cancer risk factors such as diet, exercise, obesity, and underlying health conditions
    • Reliance on leaders/laypersons in the community for trusted information
  • Socioeconomic Barriers
    • Low income
    • Access to transportation
    • Lack of health insurance
    • Lack of medical literacy
    • Access to care, especially those living in rural areas
    • Discrimination within the health care system

See what one of our staff members thinks about colon cancer and it’s prevalence in the African American community in the videos below:

* Before having a procedure, please confirm with your health insurance provider that this procedure is covered at the age of 45.

If you are of the African American community and are of the age, have you had your colonoscopy?

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Digestive Health Specialists, PA is here to help if you, or someone you know, would like more information, or if you are experiencing any digestive health symptoms and would like further evaluation. Feel free to give us a call at 336-768-6211 or fill the form below.

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