Disparities in Minority Health

Today, a luncheon celebrates Minority Cancer Awareness Week at the University of Houston. The focus of the luncheon will be health disparities among minorities. Bill Stamps has more.

Doctor Lovell Jones is the director of the Center for Research on Minority Health at MD Anderson. He says despite the many gains minorities have made in all facets of life, there are still big differences between those and Anglos when it comes to many diseases.

"The gaps in terms of access the gaps in terms of survival in terms of chronic diseases have not changed in the last two decades."

Jones says these gaps can be found in almost every race.

"For instance, Vietnamese woman have six times the rate of cervical cancer. If you look at Houston in terms of breast cancer, African American women die four times that of white females. Hispanics in terms of the rate of diabetes, I mean the list goes on."

Each race seems to be prone to or suffer from different problems, which makes finding solutions difficult. In one case the differences can be attributed to genetics, but in others the cause  may be diet or the area in which the people live.

"It’s a combination of factors. And so it’s just not one factor and that’s one of the things that the luncheons and the programs we have on going try to highlight that this is just not one size fits all."

Today’s luncheon at the University of Houston MD Anderson Library.