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What is National Minority Health Month?

National Minority Health Month is observed each year in April to raise awareness of health disparities among racial and ethnic minority communities and spur action to overcome these injustices.

The origin dates back to 1915, when Black educator and leader Booker T. Washington launched National Health Improvement Week (later National Negro Health Week), recognizing that progress for Black people could not be realized without first addressing the higher rates of illness and death in the population. The week centered on awareness of community issues, cleanliness, food safety, and school health.

Read more about the history of National Minority Health Month here.

While progress has been made in many areas over the past century, disparities remain, from higher rates of maternal death among Black women, to higher rates of diabetes among Mexican-Americans, to barriers to mental health care among Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.

Prostate cancer is, unfortunately, no exception in terms of health disparities. Here are some things to know:

  • 1 in 6 Black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and they are more than 2 times as likely to die from it.
  • Between 2012-2018, Hispanic men were less likely to receive PSA screening vs non-Hispanic white men.
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native patients are more likely to be diagnosed with distant-stage prostate cancer, and are less likely to be alive 5 years after diagnosis, vs white men.

PCF is committed to addressing this through research and education. Since 1995, PCF has funded a total of 48 awards, totaling over $30 million, into disparities research. Learn more about ongoing efforts to overcome prostate cancer disparities here.

For tips on how you can take action to know your risk and keep your family healthy, download PCF’s National Minority Health Month Awareness kit here.