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2021 Wellness Wednesday Episode 1

Black Family Cancer AWARENESS: Engaging the Generations to End Health Disparities
Black families in the US are among the most vulnerable and hardest hit for cancer risk, diagnoses, and poor outcomes and have the highest mortality rate of any racial and ethnic group for all cancers combined and for most major cancers. Death rates for all major causes of death are higher for Black populations than for non-Hispanic whites, contributing in part to a lower life expectancy. Given the staggering inequity, this presentation will discuss the importance of screening, early detection, and prevention/lifestyle modification for Black communities, as well as the important role played by social determinants of health.

The US Food and Drug Administration, Oncology Center of Excellence, Project Community has announced a new community-based initiative, National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, scheduled for June 17 through June 23, 2021.

The purpose is to increase cancer awareness in one of the most vulnerable segments of the US population. National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week aims to marshal community-based stakeholders to build knowledge surrounding cancer clinical trial participation and minority population specimen donations to national genetic databases for cancer research.

Watch the recording here.


Eleanor M. Walker, MD is a Senior Staff Physician at Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan and Division Director of the Breast Services in the Department of Radiation Oncology, and Medical Director of HFHS Center for Integrative Medicine . Her clinical interests include breast, prostate, radiosurgery and cancer incidence, and treatment in minority populations. Her special research interests include breast cancer and integrative therapies. Dr Walker serves on the Board of Trustees of the Society for Integrative Oncology and as Co-Chair of the Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force.

Santhosshi Narayanan, MD, FACP is Assistant Professor in the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitative and Integrative Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr Narayanan joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2015, after serving in both private practice and academic medicine. She practices Integrative medicine and her research interests include mind-body techniques and yoga in the care of cancer patients.

Melvin Mann, MBA, M.Ed. is a national health and wellness patient advocate. Mr Mann was diagnosed 26 years ago, in January 1995, with leukemia and given three years to live unless a bone marrow donor could be found. He was unable to find a lifesaving marrow donor despite conducting numerous marrow drives and adding thousands of people to the marrow registry. He entered phase 1 of the Gleevec clinical trial in August 1998 and is now the world’s longest living Gleevec survivor. He is a member of the SIO Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force.

Darlingtina K. Esiaka, PhD is a Visiting Professor in Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, NY. and the Lab Manager and Principal Investigator of HAMPLAB / Health and Aging from Minority Perspective Lab whose research revolves around social determinants of health and the lifecourse and the cultural groundings for the experience of relationality. Dr Esiaka is a member of the SIO Health Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force and the Global Task Force.



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