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Reducing Cancer Risks Among Black Americans

Heartland Cancer Information Service, National Cancer Institute

Although black Americans had less cancer and fewer cancer deaths between 1992-1999, they still had the highest overall cancer rates of any group in this country according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The good news is that black Americans can lower their cancer risk by making a few changes in diet and health habits. They also can help others by getting involved in efforts to raise cancer awareness in their communities. The NCI offers these tips for black Americans concerned about cancer:

Eat a healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Limit fats. Choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Maintain a healthy weight.

Don't Smoke. Smoking is directly linked to cancer. Also avoid breathing secondhand smoke and protect your children from it, when possible.

Find cancer early. Research shows that Pap tests, mammograms, and colon cancer tests can save lives. Ask your doctor about these cancer screening tests.

Get involved. Join a local chapter of the NCI's National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer (NBLIC) II. This network helps raise cancer awareness among black Americans through community activities with churches, service organizations, and other groups.

For information on the NBLIC chapter in your area, call 1-800-724-1185 toll-free. For more information and free publications on preventing cancer, call 1-800 4-CANCER or visit the NCI Web site at Ask about "Spread the Word about Cancer: A Guide for Black Americans."

For one-on-one assistance with quitting smoking, call the NCI's Smoking Quitline at

1-877-44U-QUIT from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Cancer Information Service (CIS) is a program of the National Cancer Institute.

"Ask the CIS" is distributed by the Cancer Information Service (CIS) of the Heartland, which serves Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri & Illinois. The CIS is a program of the National Cancer Institute. Call the CIS toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. local time.



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Last Updated 05/05/2009