The ICBH conducted a meta-analysis of medical literature to report on the state of cancer research in Canadian Black communities (prevalence, frequency, screening, mortality and related factors). It sought to observe progress achieved and identify gaps and disparities.
The study shows that there are no data for Black communities on the 20 most common types of cancer in Canada.
“We also found that for certain cancers, there are disparities related to screening and frequency,” says Jude Mary Cénat, an associate professor at uOttawa’s School of Psychology and ICBH director. “For example, Black people in Canada are less likely to undergo screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.”
The study shows large gaps in research in Canada on the different types of cancer in Canadian Black communities, and makes recommendations to better plan and adapt public health programs and promotion and prevention strategies, as well as to improve the quality of care and treatment offered to Canadian Black communities.
“There is an urgent need to develop and implement programs to promote screening of breast and cervical cancer among Black women and prostate cancer among Black men”
Jude Mary Cénat
— Associate professor at uOttawa’s School of Psychology and ICBH director
“This study shows that there is an urgent need to develop and implement programs to promote screening of breast and cervical cancer among Black women and prostate cancer among Black men,” says Cénat.
The study authors believe that research on cancer in Black communities must be better funded by universities, granting agencies and public health bodies, both provincially and federally.
“The scholarly literature highlights the lower screening levels for breast and cervical cancer among Black women. However, studies in the U.S. have shown that this group is more at risk than white women of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of one of these cancers. Certain guidelines have thus been modified to call for earlier screening of breast cancer among Black women than among white women. Canada should also adopt this type of measure, while taking into account social, economic and political factors unique to the country’s Black communities,” says Cénat.
The study, “Incidence, factors, and disparities related to cancer among Black individuals in Canada: A scoping review,” was published in the American Cancer Society Journal.
The ICBH is marked by a broad collaboration with uOttawa’s Faculties of Law (Civil Law and Common Law Sections); Medicine; Health Sciences; and Social Sciences; and the research institutes of the uOttawa affiliated hospitals which include CHEO, the Ottawa Hospital, the Royal Hospital, the Heart Institute, and the Montfort Hospital.
The ICBH hopes to become a leading interdisciplinary research and training space to guide federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal agencies to understand, reduce and eliminate racial health disparities. Its mission is to promote health equity for Black communities through rigorous, interdisciplinary, innovative research and community and social engagement.