Stand Up to Cancer, a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, is encouraging Black and Hispanic people to get screened for colorectal cancer and inviting cancer patients to share their clinical information to improve cancer research.
The organization launched a series of public service announcements last week aimed at increasing diversity in clinical trials and screening rates in collaboration with cancer research nonprofit organization Count Me In, Hip Hop Public Health and award-winning actress Uzo Aduba.
The first PSA, which will run on digital media, out-of-home and radio pro-bono, encourages cancer patients in communities of color to come forward and share their experiences and health information to accelerate cancer research. Created in partnership with creative agency Florence, the PSA features breast cancer survivor Bridgette, osteosarcoma survivor Maeve and five-time cancer thriver Joel sharing their own experience. Stand Up to Cancer declined to name its PR agency partners.
The campaign is aimed at helping individuals in the Black and Hispanic communities find the courage to participate in cancer research said Sung Poblete, CEO at Stand Up to Cancer.
“If we want precision medicine to benefit all of us, we have to address health equity and make certain that everyone from all walks of life participate and contribute to the data so that new discoveries can benefit everyone with colorectal cancer screening,” she said.
Stand Up to Cancer additionally released two more PSAs in partnership with Hip Hop Public Health as part of a health literacy initiative, featuring original songs and animated music videos in both English and Spanish to raise awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.
The spots are produced by Hip Hop Public Health advisory board member Chuck D and ambassador Pete Colon and are supported by English and Spanish-language audio PSAs for radio.
“It's about reaching the communities and utilizing different methods of communication that will resonate and shift [people’s] behaviors,” Poblete said. “We need trusted message makers within [those] communit[ies].”
According to the FDA, only 4% of cancer clinical trial participants are Black, 5% are Hispanic and 15% are Asian, though they have the highest mortality rates for most cancers. Black people are 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and approximately 40 % more likely to die from it than most other groups in the U.S.
Colorectal cancer screening rates are also the lowest among Hispanics, with 59% getting screened compared to 66% of Black people and 69% of white people.
Editor's note: This story was updated on October 1 to clarify details about the campaign.
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.