aim at ethnic disparities in cancer.
is not an equal-opportunity killer. African Americans are more likely
than any other racial group in the United States to develop and
die from the disease. Liver cancer kills Chinese American men at
five times the rate of whites. And cervical cancer strikes Vietnamese
and Hispanic women with alarming frequency.
Addressing such disparities is the challenge facing Moon S. Chen,
Jr., who joined UC Davis this summer from Ohio State University
in Columbus. As leader of the UC Davis Cancer Center’s Cancer
Prevention and Control Program, Chen will lead campuswide efforts
to understand and eliminate the barriers that discourage Latina
and Vietnamese women from getting Pap smears, and Asian Americans
from getting hepatitis B vaccines. He will explore the reasons African
Americans under-enroll in clinical trials, and the factors responsible
for American Indians’ high smoking rates.
Culture is at the root of the unequal cancer burden among ethnic
populations in this country, according to Chen, a professor of epidemiology
and preventive medicine at UC Davis. “Culture determines our
behavior,” he said, “and our behavior determines our
health risk. Beyond genes, 50 percent of all cancers are due to
Chen is uniquely qualified to address culture and cancer. Regarded
as one of the nation’s foremost investigators into cancer
disparities among ethnic minority groups, he was recently tapped
by President Bush to serve a six-year term on the influential National
Cancer Advisory Board, which advises the secretary of the Department
of Health and Human Services and the director of the National Cancer
Institute on national cancer policy. In addition, Chen is principal
investigator of the nationwide Asian American Network for Cancer
Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART) program, the largest
federally funded special populations network in the United States
aimed specifically at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
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To our Readers |
Building on Basics
Focusing on Patients |
In Translation |
Campus Connection |
News in Brief
UC Davis Health System |
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S. Chen, Jr. is one of the nation's foremost experts on cancer in