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ARTICLE Colorectal Cancer Screening for African Americans

Colorectal Cancer Screening for African Americans

Actor DL Hughley Joins With UnitedHealthcare to Raise Awareness

DL Hughley

World-renowned comedian and actor DL Hughley has teamed up with UnitedHealthcare's Generations of Wellness® initiative to help raise awareness of preventive screening for colorectal cancer among African Americans. DL became involved in this health awareness campaign after cancer struck close to home in his own family.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, and the incidence rates are higher for African Americans than other ethnic groups in both men and women. The good news is that it's also the most preventable form of cancer when detected early.

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all adults at standard risk begin testing for colorectal cancer once they reach age 50. Certain high risk groups should begin screening at an earlier age. Finding colon cancer early is important so it can be treated while it is still localized, and removing pre-cancerous polyps may help prevent cancer altogether. Early screening may help you live a longer and healthier life.

I may be a comedian and actor but I take my health very seriously. Cancer runs in my immediate family so I'm doing all that I can to stop the cycle for myself, my three children, and my community. As a husband and father of three, I want to be here so I can walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding and grow old enough to spend time with my grandchildren.

That's why I try to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I exercise five times a week, run 15 to 20 miles a week, lift weights, and maintain a balanced diet. My wife LaDonna and I practice healthy living and have tried to pass that legacy onto to our children.

Although I'm always on the road for work, I make sure to find the time to get preventive screenings, and have already had a colorectal screening. I also have a great relationship with my physician and together, we have developed a solid preventive plan that keeps me in check for conditions that often plague African Americans.

One of our greatest challenges as African Americans is that we only get colon cancer screenings about 48% of the time, as compared to other ethnic groups. So we've got to do better and get screened. There are many tests that can be used to help find colon cancer. Talk with your doctor about which test is right for you. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions that you may have about colon cancer and these tests, so make sure you ask.

Don't be shy, I bet you ask a ton of questions when choosing the right vacation spot, well, now is the most important time to ask questions and discuss screening options with your doctor. I encourage you to call your doctor today to set up a visit about a colon cancer test. Together, you can choose a test that's right for you.

And don't forget to keep laughing. Laughter is good medicine.

DL Hughley is also working with the National Medical Association (NMA) in support of the "We Stand With You" campaign, which was created to combat health disparities, and provide African American families with information on personal accountability and how to access care, as well as wellness resources. DL recently headlined a comedy show at the NMA's 2011 NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly called "Laughter is Good Medicine."

About DL Hughley

Known by many as one of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today, DL Hughley has made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas. DL starred in and produced his namesake television show, called "The Hughleys," which ran on ABC and UPN. DL is also well known as one of the standout comedians on the hit comedy docu-film, "The Original Kings of Comedy." Known for his astute and politically savvy comedic style, DL hosted of his own late night talk show on CNN called "DL Hughley Breaks the News."

DL has appeared in several films including "The Brothers," and hosted his own one-hour special for HBO entitled "Unapologetic." In addition, he has headlined several comedy specials and starred on the NBC's series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and HBO's "Def Comedy Jam," just to name a few. Most recently, his voice was heard across the New York airwaves as host of the morning show on WYKS-FM, and he also served as a weekly contributor to the nationally syndicated radio show "The Tom Joyner Morning Show."

Today, he is regular on the late night talk show circuit, including "Real Time with Bill Maher," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and frequently guest hosts on such shows as "The View" and "Live with Regis & Kelly."