Since Ward 7 is one of the areas in DC with extremely high rates of breast cancer, the partnership with Keys to Canaan will allow DCCC to expand its reach and help educate and sign up women for the DC Department of Health’s free Mammogram Reminder System.
DC Goes Pink is an initiative of the DC Cancer Consortium and the DC Department of Health to increase breast cancer awareness and promote a new city-wide Mammogram Reminder System.
· #1 in breast cancer deaths
· #1 in prostate cancer deaths
· #1 in colorectal cancer deaths among women, 5th among men
Other DC Cancer facts:
· More than 2,740 DC residents were diagnosed with cancer and 1,135 people died from the disease in 2008
· Cancer deaths rates are highest in Wards 5, 7 and 8
· 700+ District residents die from smoking-related illnesses each year
“This partnership further enhances our ability to reach a population with disproportionately high cancer rates and is underserved with education, screening referrals and other resources” says DC Cancer Consortium Executive Director, YaVonne Vaughan.
DCCC’s other partners include The Urban League, Washington Hospital Center, and Zuri Works.
DC Mayor Vincent Grey launched the initiative at the event by presenting the DC Cancer Consortium with a proclamation declaring May “DC Goes Pink” month. Screening events with partners United Medical Center and the George Washington Mammovan will be held throughout the year.
Speakers at the kickoff reception included Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh, DC Goes Pink Honorary Chairperson J.C. Hayward and breast cancer survivors Thelma D Jones and Natalie Williams.
The event focused on the importance of community involvement in reducing and eventually eradicating breast cancer from the District. Councilwoman Mary Cheh said “it takes a village to fight cancer,” emphasizing the importance of engaging and educating through grassroots efforts.
“To help women alleviate cancer in minority and low-income communities, we must communicate and join hands to be their strength and their foundation” said J.C. Hayward. The “DC Cancer Consortium is going to save lives and that is so very important.”
DC Department of Health Senior Deputy Director Beverly Kelly and Acting Chief of the Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Amari Pearson-Fields shared the grim cancer statistics in the District and the Department’s efforts in working with the DC Cancer Consortium to reduce cancer disparities in medically underserved areas.
Businesses in the U Street area of Northwest DC and Minnesota Avenue, NE posted flyers showing their support for DC Goes Pink and the fight against breast cancer.
The DC Cancer Consortium will be hosting “DC Goes Pink Month,” as well as a series of events throughout the year with the DC Department of Health, to increase cancer awareness and promote cancer screening activities in Washington, DC.
The DC Cancer Consortium will kick off DC Goes Pink with a reception on May 9th at the Prince Hall Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1000 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001. The reception will take place from 6 PM to 9 PM.
DC leads the nation in cancer mortality rates. DC ranks #1 in breast cancer mortality; #1 in prostate cancer mortality and #1 in colorectal cancer mortality. Minorities and the medically underserved are disproportionately affected.
“Everyone must understand that because the District has the nation’s highest mortality rates in many cancers, all of our citizens must engage in a personal and collective fight against cancer, says DC Cancer Consortium Executive Director YaVonne Vaughan. “DC Goes Pink is part of our aggressive effort to highlight the alarming cancer death rates in DC.”
Come help the DC Cancer Consortium kick of its DC Goes Pink initiative.
The leadership of DC Cancer Consortium says the report points to a need for improved health sector awareness and greater funding to address the dramatic disparity in cancer death rates. The report should serve as a benchmark for efforts to strengthen control cancer efforts in the District.
“The District must invest consistent resources to save the lives and lift the cancer burden for its minority and poor residents who are diagnosed with cancer. While the city has near-universal insurance coverage, this report shows clearly that there are factors driving cancer rates higher for certain populations. We have identified some of those factors. We developed the DC Cancer Control Plan to address those factors. But it takes funding to carry out the cancer plan,” said Dr. John Lynch, chairman of the Consortium and bioethics consultant at the Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center.
DCCC Executive Director YaVonne Vaughan echoed that concern, saying the city made an initial investment in the cancer plan, but so far has failed to follow through with sustained funding. She says the new report shows there is a need for staying the course. “It is short-sighted for our community not to continue funding the DC Cancer Control Plan. We need dedicated cancer control funding of at least $8 million annually. The District collects nearly $70 million in cigarette taxes and related revenues each year from a bad habit that’s just contributing to our health crisis. But we’re spending almost nothing to stop it.”
Dr. James Cobey, president of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and Consortium board member, said there is evidence cancer control works. “We have seen what funding programs like colorectal cancer screening and cancer patient navigation can do. We have made progress in the past five years with these programs. Colorectal cancer incidence fell 10 percent overall in the District during a time we focused on preventable cancers by funding DC Screen for Life. But that program now has no funding to continue.”
Cancer survivors say awareness, education and screening are the keys to reaching minorities and other groups at risk for cancer. “Community-based organizations must be empowered to reach people with life-saving information,” said Thelma Jones, a breast cancer survivor and cancer patient navigator.
Stephen Jefferson, a resident of Ward 7, where the cancer death rate is disproportionately high, says information is power for anyone diagnosed with cancer. “I had Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer when I showed up in the emergency room with severe swelling of my feet. I am still here today because I am blessed, first, but also because I received information about a clinical trial from the DC Cancer Consortium.”
DC Cancer Consortium is launching a public service announcement and media campaign in late October to help raise awareness about cancer in the city as part of an effort to advance the goals of the DC Cancer Control Plan. For additional multimedia content, visit our YouTube DC Cancer Consortium Channel.
Called LATINO, which stands for “Let’s Act Together in New Opportunities,” the new initiative will kick off at a reception, on Wednesday, March 27, from 6-8 pm, at the GALA Hispanic Theater, located in the Columbia Heights area of Washington.
“LATINO is an initiative that will move us closer to realizing our mission to ease the burden of cancer among low-income and medically underserved populations in the DC metro area,” said YaVonne Vaughan, executive director of the Consortium.
The kick-off event will feature remarks by Dr. Elmer Huerta, a renowned oncologist and director of the Cancer Preventorium at Washington Cancer Institute, MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Huerta founded the prevention and screening clinic in 1994 and continues to use it as a vehicle for reaching the Hispanic/Latino community in the Washington area. His involvement with the Spanish-speaking community began more than 20 years ago, when he began his nationally and internationally broadcast radio and television health programs. Dr. Huerta remains directly involved in cancer research and is currently the principal investigator for the Latin American Cancer Research Coalition, a National Cancer Institute funded program.
As part of the initiative, the Consortium formed the LATINO Advisory Council, comprised of community leaders from health care, business and media, to spearhead a program of outreach activities. Plans call for the initiative to provide healthy food access and preparation guidance, cancer screening mobile apps, community forums, and a cancer support referral network of existing Hispanic community-based agencies.
The launch of the LATINO initiative coincides with the observance of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Health experts say colon cancer is among the most preventable of all leading cancers in the DC area.
Copyright DC Cancer Consortium 2013