Web Accessibility Support

#BlackFamCan: Howard University Cancer Center Marks National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week

#BlackFamCanWASHINGTON – The Howard University Cancer Center marked National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week (June 17-23) with community events, including a visit from Rea Blakey, associate director for external outreach and engagement at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Oncology Center of Excellence.

The FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence recently created National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week as a new community-based initiative. African-Americans continue to have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group for most cancers.

To mark the week, the Howard University Cancer Center hosted a special community informational event on June 18 on family health history, genetics and genealogy. On June 19, Juneteenth, the Cancer Center hosted “Link, Learn and Line Dancing” at Howard University Hospital. Participants included staff members from the Howard University Cancer Center, representatives from partner organizations and cancer survivors.

“The purpose of this activity is to highlight the benefits of physical activity, not just for reducing the risk for cancer, but other chronic diseases as well,” said Carla Williams, Ph.D., interim director of the Howard University Cancer Center. “We want to encourage people to have conversations about their family cancer history. Such information is a powerful tool for making personal choices about cancer screening and risk reduction.”

National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week aims to marshal community-based stakeholders to build knowledge surrounding cancer clinical trial participation and the importance of specimen donations to national genetic databases for cancer research. The mission of the Howard University Cancer Center is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education and service, with emphasis on the unique ethnic and cultural aspects of minority and underserved populations.

“The Howard University Cancer Center has had a long history of serving minorities and underserved populations and addressing disparities,” said Cherie Spencer, director of community programs. “We wanted the Howard University Cancer Center events to be community-based, meaningful, informative, yet also engaging and enjoyable.”

Pictured: Howard University cancer surgeon Dr. Lori Wilson with Howard faculty, staff, and volunteers. 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media Contact: Sholnn Freeman, sholnn.freeman@howard.edu