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Why do fewer blacks survive childhood cancers?

MILWAUKEE TIMES WEEKLY — The relationship between race and the outcome for a number of cancers among whites, Hispanics and blacks in the United States have certainly started to become more evident and clearer. A new study finds, poverty is a major reason why black and Hispanic children with some types of cancer have lower survival rates than white patients.

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By The Milwaukee Times Weekly

The relationship between race and the outcome for a number of cancers among whites, Hispanics and blacks in the United States have certainly started to become more evident and clearer. A new study finds, poverty is a major reason why black and Hispanic children with some types of cancer have lower survival rates than white patients.

Researchers examined U.S. government data on nearly 32,000 black, Hispanic and white children who were diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2011. For several cancers, whites were much more likely to survive than blacks and Hispanics.

Rebecca Kehm and her University of Minnesota colleagues wondered whether those differences were due to socioeconomic status – that is, one’s position based on income, education and occupation.

Their conclusion: It had a significant effect on the link between race/ethnicity and survival for acute myeloid leukemia as well as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, neuroblastoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For blacks compared to whites, socioeconomic status reduced the link between race/ethnicity and survival by 44 percent and 28 percent for the two leukemias; by 49 percent for neuroblastoma; and by 34 percent for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For Hispanics compared to whites, the reductions were 31 percent and 73 percent for the two leukemias; 48 percent for neuroblastoma; and 28 percent for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Socioeconomic status was not a major factor in survival disparities for other types of childhood cancer, including central nervous system tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Wilms tumor and germ cell tumors, the researchers said.

“These findings provide insight for future intervention efforts aimed at closing the survival gap,” Kehm said in a journal news release.

“For cancers in which socioeconomic status is a key factor in explaining racial and ethnic survival disparities, behavioral and supportive interventions that address social and economic barriers to effective care are warranted,” she said.

“However, for cancers in which survival is less influenced by socioeconomic status, more research is needed on underlying differences in tumor biology and drug processing,” Kehm added.

For more information on acute myeloid leukemia, visit the Health Conditions page on BlackDoctor.org.

SOURCE: Cancer, news release, Aug. 20, 2018

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Times Weekly

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Activism

Youth Uprising Approaches Mental Wellness with Fun, Education and Job Opportunity

Youth Uprising offers education support, job readiness, counseling for healing and health: holistic wellness, physical health, sports and recreation, free style music classes, video and film production, dance, performing and visual arts. Classes are from 3:30 -5:00 and is open to all youth.

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Youth Uprising CEO Y’anad Burrell. Photo courtesy of Y’anad Burrell.
Youth Uprising CEO Y’anad Burrell. Photo courtesy of Y’anad Burrell.

Black Mental Health: Part 8

By Tanya Dennis

Youth Uprising provides comprehensive, fully integrated health, wellness, educational, career, arts, and cultural programming to Alameda County youth and young adults, ages 13-24. Located at 8711 MacArthur Blvd. in East Oakland. Youth Uprising has taken a mind, body, spirit approach to mental wellness.

Y’Anad Burrell, CEO of Youth Uprising, says that “It was essential we offered a mental wellness program at Youth Uprising because we saw the unfortunate outcomes of social isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and we wanted to broaden our programs to not always think of wellness as a room and counseling, but instead think of how we could incorporate wellness in our everyday life dance.

“We have full-time clinicians but elevate the narrative of wellness that is interactive and fun. We check in with our youth on how they are adapting to this new social structure created by COVID-19,” she said.

Mental health clinicians Tamikia McCoy and Rica Rice offer services Monday thru Friday. For service contact Tamikia McCoy at – tmccoy@youthuprising.org

Youth Uprising offers education support, job readiness, counseling for healing and health: holistic wellness, physical health, sports and recreation, free style music classes, video and film production, dance, performing and visual arts. Classes are from 3:30 -5:00 and is open to all youth.

Currently Youth Uprising’s “Wing Wednesdays” is held at their Café, but there are plans for “pop-ups” and “A Taste of Oakland,” student event in August where 10 to 15 students will showcase their food.

Burrell says that “A Taste of Oakland” is providing an opportunity for learning the elements of the culinary industry in classes teaching cooking and the business side of the café. Each station in the café will have an adult teacher to guide them on how to serve, how to greet the customer, work the cash register weekly, cleaning and sanitizing the café, and understanding the elements of being a chef.”

Burrell is especially proud of Youth Uprising’s Delinquency Prevention Network (DPN) conducted by Javion Robertson. DPN is a job readiness program training up to 20 youth reduced from 50 due to COVID safety.

Every 90 days students are taught communications, public speaking, resume writing, time management, professional dress, workplace employer relations and prepare youth before they are placed.

DPN is Youth Uprisings most popular and well attended program and is conducted Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m.. To enroll contact Javion Robertson at jrobertson@youthuprising.org

Burrell noted that, “Youth Uprising belongs to our community and our youth, so we deliver on our original purpose and design. Our goal is to develop youth into leaders, and that they leave aware of how the system impacts them and are prepared.

“Our mission statement is “We believe that if we provide youth with relevant services and programs, meaningful engagement with caring adults, and opportunities to practice leadership they will become change agents and contributors to a healthy thriving community. This formula for change maintains that healthy, involved people can influence policy and ultimately create healthier, safer, and economically robust communities. It recognizes that youth are inherently resilient, and that risk can be reduced with the right set of supports, services, and opportunities.”

For more information contact Danielle Parker, Youth Uprising’s Executive Assistant dparker@youthuprising.org or call 510-777-9909.

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Activism

Project Hosts Virtual Workshop for African American Families Caring for Mentally Ill, Substance Abusers

“We see a lot of people with mental illness being incarcerated at Santa Rita jail,” said Margot Dashiell, chairwoman of the AAFOP Steering Committee. “Forty-eight percent of those incarcerated in the jail’s mental health unit are African American, yet African Americans constitute only 9% of the County population. Involuntary hospitalization is also at a disproportionate rate at John George Mental Health facility.

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Margot Dashiell has a BA in sociology and MA in educational and clinical psychology. Ms. Dashiell taught African American studies and sociology at Laney College for 30 years, and now retired, is board chair of the Steering Committee for the African American Wellness Project.
Margot Dashiell has a BA in sociology and MA in educational and clinical psychology. Ms. Dashiell taught African American studies and sociology at Laney College for 30 years, and now retired, is board chair of the Steering Committee for the African American Wellness Project.

By Tanya Dennis

(This story is part of a series on Black Mental Health)

The African American Family Outreach Project (AAFOP) will host a free virtual workshop for family members who serve as caregivers for those living with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse on Saturday, June 25, from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

There, caregivers can seek information on symptoms, treatment options and the means for navigating Alameda County’s complex system of care. A four-person volunteer family member steering committee plans each event based on their own personal experience in caring for a loved one. The meetings are for family members and planned by family members. To register, call 510-697-8533.

The event will also feature Dr. Aaron Chapman, psychiatrist, and medical director for Alameda County Behavioral Health Services. He will discuss the role of psychiatric care and devote considerable time to answer audience questions in depth and followed by a panel of speakers who will describe the process for filing a complaint against a service provider.

“We see a lot of people with mental illness being incarcerated at Santa Rita jail,” said Margot Dashiell, chairwoman of the AAFOP Steering Committee. “Forty-eight percent of those incarcerated in the jail’s mental health unit are African American, yet African Americans constitute only 9% of the County population. Involuntary hospitalization is also at a disproportionate rate at John George Mental Health facility.

“If we can help families recognize the symptoms and what resources are available, families could recognize symptoms early on, and serious challenges could be averted,” she said. “Homelessness has exacerbated the problem and we’re witnessing an increase in suicides at an alarming rate. We offer family education and a resource support center virtually due to COVID-19.”

AAFOP was designed to help families who have loved ones suffering from mental illness with resources and coping skills. For the past five years, AAFOP’s fiscal sponsor and home has been the Mental Health Association of Alameda County, with funding from Alameda County Behavioral Health Services.

Traditionally, psychiatry programs, master’s degree and Ph.D. psychology programs did not recognize the importance of families in helping loved ones who are ill or addicted. In fact, it was once the common view in textbooks and training programs that mental illness resulted from poor parenting.

Reversing old ideas and practices, Alameda County Behavioral Health designated funds from California’s Mental Health Services Act to AAFOP to encourage family members to actively engage in the treatment process for loved ones. Many agencies and service providers today still do not actively encourage family participation in the treatment process.

AAFOP encourages continual learning and the importance of self-care in the face of stressful conditions. As such, it encourages attendees to join Family Education Resource Center’s AAFOP which meets virtually on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. To receive a link for the support group, call 510-746-1700.

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Bay Area

Just Armour Holds Father’s Day Skating Party on June 12

Sharika Gregory will be hosting a Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court near the 100 block of Drake Avenue in Marin City. The event is free. There will be cash prizes, fun, food, and music.

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Sharika Gregory will be hosting a Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court near the 100 block of Drake Avenue in Marin City. The event is free. There will be cash prizes, fun, food, and music.

For more information, go to justarmour.org.

Sharika Gregory will be hosting a Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court near the 100 block of Drake Avenue in Marin City. The event is free. There will be cash prizes, fun, food, and music.

Sharika Gregory will be hosting a Father’s Day Skating event on Sunday, June 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Golden Gate Village’s Basketball Court near the 100 block of Drake Avenue in Marin City. The event is free. There will be cash prizes, fun, food, and music.

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