Organization demonstrates need for more access to preventive care, elevates life saving care
New York, NY — In recognition of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week and National Minority Health Month, Planned Parenthood encourages communities to work together toward the full realization of health equity for people of color and fight back on attacks to block health care. National Minority Health Month and National Minority Cancer Awareness week recognizes the need to improve health outcomes for many in African-American, Latino American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities, and raises awareness of the need to expand health care access in order to reduce disparities. Planned Parenthood promotes efforts this month, and every month of the year, to raise awareness of the health needs in these communities, and work with community leaders to help reduce barriers in accessing health care.
“Planned Parenthood believes that communities of color deserve access to quality, affordable, life saving health care,” said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President. “The right to access quality care should not depend on who you are or where you come from -- it’s a fundamental human right every person should be able to exercise. We take our role as a health care provider and advocate seriously, and will continue to work with communities to protect access to care as well as break down barriers.”
Planned Parenthood health centers provided over 650,000 cancer screenings and prevention services to people in 2014, including nearly 270,000 Pap tests, nearly 360,000 lifesaving breast exams — screenings to 72,000 women whose cancer was detected early or whose abnormalities were identified and addressed.
Attacks from politicians on Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide quality health care creates more barriers and puts those most vulnerable at even greater risk for cancer. Many communities of color face structural barriers and greater obstacles to obtaining and benefiting from health care services than non-Latino whites, with some communities having the greatest need for preventive health care like lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for STDs, Pap tests, and health education. For example:
- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, African American women are most likely to die from the disease.
- American Samoan women are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with, and to die from, cervical cancer, as compared to non-Latino whites.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death for Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese women.
- Cervical cancer rates are twice as high for Cambodian women and 40 percent higher among Vietnamese women than non-Latino white women.
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas. Even when diagnosed at similar ages and stages and with similar tumor characteristics, Latinas are more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Latina white women.
“While health disparities among marginalized communities remain a serious issue, Planned Parenthood is committed to working with and within the communities we serve to transform our world from one divided by disparities to a world united by health equity,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Chief Medical Officer. “We are proud of the work we provide in cancer prevention and early detection. This week and every week, we will continue to double down on our commitment to improving the communities we work with.”
Planned Parenthood health centers see 2.5 million women, men, and young people each year, nearly half of whom are people of color. Every day, across the country, Planned Parenthood provides affordable, quality preventive health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STIs, breast health services, and accurate, nonjudgmental sexual health education and information — no matter what.
For more information about Planned Parenthood health services, or to schedule an appointment at the health center nearest you, visit www.plannedparenthood.org.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 11, 2017