Center for Deaf Health Equity director Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar and research assistant Emmanuel Perrodin-Njoku attended the American Society of Preventive Oncology annual meeting March 13-15 in Tucson, Arizona. Their hard work and research culminated in a poster that demonstrated Black Deaf people are 3.5 times less likely to report a diagnosis of cancer, which is an indication that more work needs to be done to ensure proper screening. The poster won third place in the poster competition.

Dr. Kushalnagar also received a Diversity Supplement to an existing National Institutes of Health grant. This supplemental grant will be used to promote increased cancer screening among Deaf and DeafBlind adults. It is intended to promote underrepresented students working with researchers already receiving NIH funding.

According to Dr. Kushalnagar and Perrodin-Njoku’s study, hearing Black people already face disparities in preventive cancer screening, but for Deaf Black people, these disparities are even more pronounced. Dr. Kushalnagar and Perrodin-Njoku set out to find out exactly what disparities existed. Their takeaway is that efforts should be made to increase Black Deaf patients’ access to primary care services, increased cancer screenings, and most importantly, communication between patients and their health care providers.

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