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Defining health disparities

Dr. Crutchfield, what do people mean when they use the term “health disparity”?  

Merriam-Webster defines disparity as “the state of being different.” The term “health disparities” refers to several conditions. It almost always refers to differences in groups relating to their socioeconomic status, race and/or gender. It can also mean differences in the presence of certain diseases within groups. It can mean the outcomes of disease treatment in these groups. It can mean the quality of health care and access to healthcare services that exist within these groups. Disparities can also be caused by a lack of efficiency within the healthcare system. As a result of the lack of efficiency, some studies (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies) have speculated that approximately $50 billion are spent wastefully every year in the U.S. By reducing or eliminating health disparities, there could be a significant savings to the healthcare system accompanied by an overall increased quality of health care. Continue Reading →

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Get out of your own way: a heart-to-heart on Black women’s health




Dear Sistergirlfriend: We need to talk… The three top killers of sisters are HIV/AIDS, heart disease and cancer…in that order. I’m not trying to scare you, but you should be concerned, and I’m concerned for ya! I’m not gonna preach at you about using condoms or being selective with your partners or to watch your cholesterol, manage stress, etc. What I do want to talk about, is your mind. Continue Reading →

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Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer


By Vickie Evans-Nash



The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Top health risks for the African American community


There are several common health issues that place the population at risk of increased injury and early death. We as a population always wonder how to protect ourselves from these common health issues. Good health references good quality of life. It has been shown in multiple studies that risk-factor reduction is a certain method we use for defense against injury and poor health. Risk-factor reduction requires good input from both the patient and healthcare providers. Continue Reading →

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