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Medical College of Wisconsin Studying Racial Disparities in Cancer Deaths

The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has been studying and looking for ways to combat racial disparity in cancer deaths.


According to the National Cancer Institute, black residents in Wisconsin get cancer at a 22 percent higher rate than white residents do.

In African Americans, the factors responsible for cancer disparities include a poor diet, lifestyle, income, and stress. Also, biological difference and medical access contribute to higher cancer rate amongst them.

Lauren Matthews, a community program coordinator at the college Cancer Center’s Prevention and Outcomes Program, said, “It’s a nationwide problem, but it is heightened because of the level of segregation in Milwaukee.”

Wisconsin Public Radio has reported that Milwaukee College has launched a program that offers free prostate screenings for black men, which also provides community education about cancer screening.

Matthews said, “There needs to be a lot more conversation about cancer – not just where to get it treated – but on the prevention side.”

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The researchers of the college are also studying breast cancer, colorectal cancer and smoking with $435,000 as a funding help from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

The foundation’s senior director Janel Hines said, “Although cancer can affect any person in our community, data makes clear that the disease’s impact on communities of color can be disproportionate, warranting deeper study.”