Cancer Disparities

At Roswell Park, we are doing our part to help underserved patients gain access to life-saving treatments, manage the cost of care and navigate insurance red tape. We discussed our initiatives during the Buffalo Cancer Moonshot Summit, and we are dedicated to the national effort.

Over 5 million Native Americans belonging to one of 567 federally recognized tribes currently live in the United States.

As we mark National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, our Office of Community Outreach and Engagement wants you to be aware of six ways you can reduce your cancer risk. We encourage you to share this information with friends and loved ones, and follow these tips for living a healthy life.
In Western New York and across the country, the Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing population groups. Puerto Ricans are the second largest Hispanic subgroup in the U.S., residing predominantly in the Northeast and along the east coast. In WNY, two-thirds (66.5 percent) of the Latino population is of Puerto Rican heritage. At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, researchers are interested in knowing the cancer needs of local Hispanics and are conducting research to figure this out.

Historically, Japanese women were much less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than American women. However, as Western lifestyles become a part of everyday life in Japan, breast cancer rates are on the rise.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, and we are proud of the people, programs and processes that have enabled us to meet and exceed our goals. Here are just a few ways we are helping change the community!

"How did I feel after learning I had breast cancer? A feeling of loneliness,” says Maria Torres, a resident of Buffalo, New York and breast and cervical cancer survivor.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it, so it’s really about my life today and how cancer makes a difference in a person’s life,” said Thomasina Holmes, a thriving lung cancer survivor who credits Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for saving her life. 

“I am not afraid to let people know that I am a prostate cancer survivor,” says Mack Luchey, iconic owner of Doris Records, Western New York’s oldest record store.

Cancer disparities exist in minority communities across the country, including in Native American populations. One of Roswell Park’s newest faculty members, Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, has devoted much of his adult life to understanding Native American health research.

“How did I feel after learning I had breast cancer? A feeling of loneliness,” said Maria Torres, a resident of Buffalo, New York and breast and cervical cancer survivor.

The incidence of breast cancer increases with age and is highest among white women. However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than any other group.