This past weekend we made our second stop of the year with our 2016 Big Red Bash Experience at Indiana Black Expo’s (IBE) Summer Celebration!
We had the opportunity to engage with nearly 3,400 individuals and had a great time educating the African American community about the impact of cancer and the importance of cancer prevention. It was important for Little Red Door to have a presence at IBE because, unfortunately, the African American community is disproportionately affected by cancer. In fact, in Marion County specifically, African American women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. This disparity is partially due to a unique set of risk factors that place African Americans at a disadvantage when it comes to cancer risk and survival.
We know that, overall, African Americans are 21% more likely to die from cancer than Whites. Some of the leading factors that increase that risk include tobacco use, 1 in 5 African Americans smoke; and obesity, 58% of African Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of physical activity and 80% do not eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Other factors that contribute to the cancer disparity among African Americans may include lack of health insurance, cultural differences, and not having a regular conversation with their doctor.
The Big Red Bash Experience educates the community on some of the risk factors that individuals have control over and can change to lower their risk for cancer, but we also aim to bring to light the growing disparity of cancer deaths among African Americans and do our best to address this issue.
It is extremely important that members of the African American community are aware of their individual health risks and take action to lower their risk for cancer. During our three days at IBE nearly 1,000 individuals committed to be more physically active, eat a healthier diet, avoid tobacco products and protect their skin from sun damage by taking the Bash Cancer Pledge!
Here are some important steps that everyone can take to lower their risk for cancer:
• Know your past medical history
• Maintain an active lifestyle
• Stay tobacco free or quit tobacco
• Eat more fruits and veggies
• Talk to your doctor about which cancer screenings are right for you
Keep an eye out for the Big Red Bash Experience as we continue to travel this summer. Next stop, the great Indiana State Fair, August 5th-21st!