Black Women And Colon Cancer

As I write this article my Grandmother is lying in a hospital bed slowly succumbing to colon cancer. If this disease takes her life, and the doctors think it will, she will be the third and final sister in her family to have lost her life to this deadly form of cancer. It boggles my mind to think about an entire family of women being wiped out by this disease but that is exactly what is happening.

Sadly, colon cancer strikes black women at an alarming rate and the ages at which sistas are being diagnosed with the disease is getting younger and younger. Despite having the greatest risk of developing colon cancer, research shows that few black women think they are at risk and therefore do not get tested or even know that testing exists.

I admit to being one of those women and a quick survey of my friends resulted in the same. Doctors say women 40 years and older should be tested but I am starting a bit early and suggest that many of you do too. If caught in its early stage, the five year survival rate for colon cancer in black women is 83%.

Don’t wait any longer sistas and don’t say you didn’t know because I am telling you now. Take care of yourselves. Take care of your bodies. Get tested now. If not for yourselves, then for your loved ones. I am getting tested now for my daughter. Never do I want her to have to go through with me what I am going through with my Grandmother.

Resources: Black Women’s Health Imperative and Healthy Women.


  1. @Sista im praying for your grandmother.

    My grandmother and mother died of cancer.

    Im going to get check up in two weeks for everything.

    Yes it good to look good on the outside but your inside is more important then anything. Yes please get yourself to the doctors.

  2. I have read studies that link colon cancer to HPV, which all sexually active adults come in contact with at sometime in our lives. They have said this could be what led to Farrah Fawcett’s cancer. I am beginning to think EVERYONE regardless of gender or orientation should get that vaccine. I personally think HPV is the reason that a lot of black women are coming down with this type of cancer.

  3. I wish you and your family all the best and thanks for the info.

  4. @Sista — sending prayers and peace to your family at this time

  5. SISTA i hope God heals you and your family’s heart in this trying time. i hope for a miracle for you, but let Gods will be done. there will be better days to come. i have lost my grand ma, my aunty, and other female relatives in my family from cancer or another…its hard. but i beleve that it is not my family’s portion or yours. AMEN.

  6. Thank you for schooling us b/c I had no idea black women get colon cancer in higher numbers. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother.

  7. thanks for this posting because it is a great information vehicle to help everyone. as i was sitting in the doctors office today, a few women were interviewing people for a poll on colon cancer. i took one of their information papers because they said i was too young for their testing (i am 44), and recommended that i be tested when i turn 50, but i will take your advice instead. it does make more sense. thanks again and i am keeping your grandmother in my prayers as well as your family.

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