National Minority Cancer Awareness Month

Dr. In headshot
Dr. Haejin In

Cancer affects each population differently, and minority groups in the United States bear a greater burden for many cancers. As highlighted by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) cancer disparities progress report:

  • African Americans have double the risk of dying from prostate cancer, stomach cancer and multiple myeloma compared with whites.
  • Hispanic children are 38 percent more likely to develop leukemia than non-Hispanic white children
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics have double the risk of dying from stomach cancer compared with white adults.
  • American Indians are twice as likely to develop liver and bile duct cancer as white adults. 

These are just a few statistics that illustrate cancer inequalities. In the cancer care community, we reflect on the serious health disparities experienced by racial, ethnic and geographic groups and underserved groups across our country. We recognize the critical need to focus efforts on advancing health equity to eliminate health disparities.
As New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey together with RWJBarnabas Health is committed to meeting the cancer-related needs of communities across our diverse state. In an effort to prevent, treat and survive cancer, targeted programs are needed to address different needs for diverse populations and multiple inequalities that contribute to disparity must be addressed. We strongly believe that increased diversity among our physicians and researchers helps us to better serve our patients, generate innovative ideas through superior creative intellect using a wide range of perspectives and allows us to fully engage our diverse populations.
Equity begins with us.
Haejin In, MD, MPH, MBA, FACS, FSSO, is chief diversity officer, associate director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and surgical oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and associate professor of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School