Research shows that cancer is a leading cause of death among African American men and that lung and prostate cancers have the highest mortality rates for them followed by colorectal, pancreas, and stomach. To help increase an emphasis on prevention of these diseases, the SC Cancer Alliance has awarded a $10,000 grant to the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families to enhance its five-week Men’s Health curriculum for non-custodial fathers. The curriculum will increase its focus on the importance of how good nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices help reduce risks of these diseases prevalent in men.
The center’s grant, part of the South Carolina Cancer Alliance’s Health Equity Project, will incorporate cancer risk questionnaires and resources for cancer screening referrals will be provided. Additionally, as part of this update to the curriculum, the center will implement a COVID-19 vaccination educational component in all community outreach activities and promote the Alliance's Living with Cancer survivorship tools located online at www.sccancer.org/living-with-cancer, a webpage containing information for patients and caregivers dealing with cancer.
Fatherhood program participants differ from the general population by higher unemployment rates; lower educational levels; higher poverty rates; poor nutrition, and less access to healthcare. Their average age is 33; 63% of participants served last year were African American.
It is evident that fathers’ poor physical health status creates significant barriers in being able to provide for and be actively engaged with their children. Health and wellness services addressed within the overall context of fatherhood, rather than as a single unrelated event, enable fathers to understand the information and evaluate it in the context of their own lives.
For more than 20 years, the center has been committed to reengaging fathers and strengthening relationships with their children to improve overall childhood wellbeing and reduce poverty. The center has served more than 20,000 fathers in this time, providing them the tools and resources they need to be great dads. Its expert team leads a growing, statewide network of fatherhood organizations and partners which extends into 15 counties. Since 2007, the center has offered a Men’s Health curriculum as part of its overall fatherhood program.
The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
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