Entries in Minorities (2)


President's Cancer Panel: More Research Needed on Diverse Populations

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As America's demographics continue changing -- with minorities predicted to become the majority in the country by 2050 -- cancer rates among minority populations are expected to nearly double in the coming decades.

An annual report released Thursday by the President's Cancer Panel says there's an urgent need to expand research and improve understanding of the facts that influence cancer risk and outcomes among diverse populations.

Howard University's Dr. Lasalle Leffall, chair of the president's panel, noted that most research today is based on white populations.

"Our knowledge of risks, cancer risks, incident, progress and outcome is based largely on studies on non-Hispanic white populations," Leffall said.

Lefall said he's learned some facts that call for a change to this limited research.

"Hispanics tend to have a higher incidence of cancer of the cervix and just because of numbers that means that they're going to have a higher death rate," he said.

He also added another tidbit: "Cancer of the breasts is more common in white women than in black women but black women tend to be have aggressive types thus we tend to have a higher death rate."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eating Disorders Not Just for White Teen Girls

Comstock/Thinkstock (MIAMI) -- At the peak of her eating disorder, Stephanie Covington Armstrong threw up 15 times a day. Any food in her stomach made her uncomfortable, and it was only when she vomited that "everything was right with the world," even if it was only five minutes until she would do it again. It was like crack, she said. Drugs and alcohol seemed messy but binging and purging offered that same high; the kind of high that would take away the self-hatred that constantly weighed her down.

For seven years, Armstrong's bulimia was her deepest secret. And as a black woman, Armstrong said, carrying the stigma of an eating disorder was even worse.

"There is that shame of not being a strong black woman," said Armstrong, a Los Angeles playwright and author of the book Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat. "People would ask me, 'What, do you want to be white or something?'"

More than 10 million Americans suffer from some kind of eating disorder, and many of them are not white, young or female, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, executive director of the Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Florida, said that, at any given time, at least half of her patients are not what society typically thinks of someone having an eating disorder: people older then 40, mothers, men and minorities.

"Minorities, men and older people have an even more difficult time," said Oliver-Pyatt, speaking on behalf of the National Eating Disorders Association. "It's almost culturally accepted for a young white woman to have an eating disorder."

Oliver-Pyatt said that many older female patients who come to her clinic actually did not fully recover from an eating disorder in their early years. She said many of this subgroup of women had a bad experience while receiving treatment for their condition in their 20s and teens. And now, many of these women fly under the doctor's radar for eating disorders.

"A couple years ago, treatment was very institutional-based," Oliver-Pyatt said. "They had a bad experience and were afraid to receive further treatment."

More than one million men and boys battle eating disorders every day, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. And, many doctors argue, the stigma for a man is worse than that of teenage girl.

While many people say that eating disorders are a way of responding to lack of control in one's life, Oliver-Pyatt said, such an explanation is oversimplifying the seriousness of the illness.

If you or someone you know might suffer from an eating disorder, contact the Information and Referral Helpline at the National Eating Disorder Association by calling (800) 931-2237.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio