Darlington Men's Initiative
In 2019, the South Carolina Cancer Alliance (Alliance) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control jointly issued a report entitled "Cancer in African American Men in South Carolina". The purpose of this report is to guide the development and implementation of cancer prevention, control, treatment, and survivorship strategies focused specifically on African American men. A summary of the key findings follows:
- Mortality rates in African American men remain on average 38% higher than the rates for white men over the last twenty years.
- Cancer incidence and mortality rates are highest among African American men in cancers of the prostate, lung, and colorectum. For stomach and prostate cancer, African American men have a mortality rate that is more than 150% higher than the rate for white men.
- Among the top fifteen cancers diagnosed for African American men racial disparities were greatest for myeloma and cancers of the stomach, prostate, and larynx for both incidence and mortality. Remaining cancers showing disparities included: colorectal, pancreas, esophagus, lung, liver, and oral cavity.
- Tackling cancer disparities warrants focus on ten cancers and interventions to alleviate the disparities.
- Several factors play an important role in the risk and development of cancer and cancer development in African American men: Social (e.g., poverty, access to health care and provider distrust); Behavioral (e.g., cigarette smoking, diet, and alcohol use); Psychological (e.g., stress), and Biological(e.g., genetics) factors. These factors must be considered and incorporated into initiatives addressing cancer disparities.