Everyone should have the opportunity to attain their highest level of health.

Why Cancer Health Equity?

While Chicago has been a hub for tremendous advancements in science, technology, and medicine, not everyone is benefitting equally from these advances. For example, Chicago communities that are low-income or predominantly African-American or Latino face cancer death rates up to double the national average.

ChicagoCHEC is a constellation of people, organizations, and communities working toward cancer health equity. We recognize the need for inclusive, effective, and innovative approaches to cancer research, training, education, and community engagement. ChicagoCHEC is in a unique and powerful position to bring the fruits of research findings into direct action that can make a difference in Chicago’s communities. And as Chicago continues to grow and become more diverse, figuring out how to attract, educate, and retain a diverse research and healthcare workforce is critical for the health trajectory of Chicago’s communities.

We believe that we all have a responsibility, a role to play, in making sure that all people – regardless of race or ethnicity, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, religion, or disability – have the opportunity to stay healthy and reach their full potential.

Cancer Inequities: The Facts

  • Illinois has significantly higher cancer death rates than the national average across the board for nearly all cancers.
  • Illinois ranks in the top 10 of all states for highest breast cancer death rates.
  • Some communities are hit harder than others, as Chicago community areas that are low-income or predominantly African American or Latino face cancer death rates up to double the national average.
  • Communities in the South and West sides of Chicago (areas that are predominantly African American and Latino) face Breast Cancer Mortality rates as high as 1.5 times the national rate.
  • Asian communities in Chicago, including Chicago’s Chinatown community, have low cancer screening rates and have some of the highest liver cancer rates in the country.