Typically whenever I think of the health of black women, the first thing that comes to mind is breast cancer. This is for good reason when we view some of the disturbing facts associated with black women and breast cancer. Black women develop a more aggressive form of breast cancer at younger ages, have a 78% survival rate in comparison to a 98% survival rate of white women, have only a 5-year survival rate after diagnosis, and are often diagnosed in later stages of the cancer which plays a role in the higher death rate in black women.
However, I recently read an article written by Shamard Charles, M.D. that discussed the increase of uterine cancer being diagnosed in black women. I have never really thought of uterine cancer but according to this research it’s a huge deal. Uterine cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer and seventh most common cause of cancer death among U.S. women. While the diagnosis of other forms of cancer are slowly decreasing, uterine cancer is on the rise. The CDC is linking this increase of uterine cancer to the growing epidemic of obesity in the U.S.
Dr. Joseph Davis, says that the lining of the uterus is hormonally sensitive, so people with higher-than-normal estrogen are especially at risk. Obese women have higher circulating levels of estrogen so that puts them at a higher risk. Dr. Joseph Davis says that the increase of obesity and diabetes that is contributing to the surge of uterine cancer can be linked to consumption of processed foods in our diet.
Dr. Michael Birrer, an oncologist and director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham is not shocked by the surge of uterine cancer. He says that it’s still not totally understood as to why black women develop endometrial cancer which is a common form of uterine cancer, but factors such as genetics, and unequal access to health care must be considered.
Endometrial cancer occurs most commonly in women over 55. The cancer targets the lining of the uterine when too much estrogen is produced. Women who do not ovulate regularly or are on hormone replacement therapy are at greater risk. Endometrial cancer can be detected early because it produces abnormal vaginal bleeding which prompts women to see the doctor. Often times a hysterectomy will be performed if the cancer is discovered early. The CDC is calling for public health efforts to help women obtain and maintain a healthy weight, lifestyle, and levels of physical activity. These are things that can be done to help reduce the risk of uterine cancer.
The health of our women is extremely important and men must set the example for our women to follow. I can’t speak for anyone else but a world with no women sounds like pure hell! We must protect our women and encourage them to live a lifestyle that will promote life in abundance. We know that women are the first teachers and doctors of our children, but they cannot maintain these roles if they are sick. We must now promote a healthy lifestyle for the safety of our women.
So until the next post, please eat right and take care of yourself. Head over to https://teespring.com/stores/plant-based-poppin and scoop up some fresh gear to promote a healthy lifestyle. Remember, public awareness and knowledge is critical to stop the epidemic of cancer afflicting our communities.