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Notice to Readers: National Minority Cancer Awareness Week --- April 17--23, 2000

National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, April 17--23, 2000, is dedicated to increasing awareness among racial/ethnic minority groups regarding the importance of early cancer detection. In 2000, an estimated 1,220,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States (1). Some minority populations have higher rates of cancer than others (2); for example, blacks are more likely to develop and die from cancer than persons of any other racial/ethnic group. Along with differences in incidence and mortality, recent findings indicate that disparities exist among the five racial and ethnic minority groups in health risk behaviors, such as cigarette smoking and use of clinical preventive services including screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers (3).

To improve cancer prevention and control within minority and underserved populations, CDC and other federal, state, and nonprofit organizations encourage and support various activities to reduce racial/ethnic disparities that include the following:

  • Eliminating barriers to cancer screening and early detection.
  • Implementing community-based education programs and outreach initiatives that target and address specific needs of different racial/ethnic groups.
  • Tracking cancer rates among minority populations.
  • Increasing and improving research efforts that target minority and underserved populations.
  • Recruiting members of minority groups into clinical trials.

Additional information about National Minority Cancer Awareness Week and CDC's national cancer prevention and control efforts is available at


  1. Greenlee RT, Murray T, Bolden S, Wingo PA. Cancer statistics, 2000. CA: Cancer Clin 2000;50:7--11.
  2. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2000. Atlanta, Georgia: American Cancer Society, 2000.
  3. CDC. State-specific prevalence of selected health behaviors, by race and ethnicity---Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1997. MMWR 2000;49(no. SS-2).

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