Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7) and Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) introduced a bipartisan resolution on Friday recognizing National Minority Cancer Awareness Week from April 15 to April 23 (H.Res. 154).
"As a doctor, I took an oath to provide all my patients with the best options available to them, but a disproportionate number of Americans remain underserved," said Bera. "Women, minorities, and lower income communities are not benefiting from the progress we've made in cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. During Minority Cancer Awareness Week, it's important for us to look at how we can improve these disparities and ensure everyone has access to lifesaving cancer treatments."
"Cancer touches every American family, regardless of race, zip code or economic status," said Davis. "Yet, despite incredible medical advancements in cancer treatments, too many minorities and other medically underserved populations are not seeing the benefits of this progress. Our goal for National Minority Cancer Awareness Week is to shine a light on these disparities and find ways to effectively bridge these dangerous gaps in health care."
Cancer is responsible for more than one in four deaths in the United States. This year, more than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 500,000 people will die from the disease. While a great deal of progress has been made on treating cancer, minorities are less likely to benefit from these advances in medical care.
National Minority Cancer Awareness Week recognizes the need for continued medical research and public health education in order to encourage healthy behaviors and prevent cancer. In order to decrease the incidence of cancer in minority populations, it is essential to do more research into the underlying causes of cancer and encourage innovation in diagnosis and treatment.