“Joining Hands to Fight Cancer” is KAAAC’S anniversary celebration. The dinner and celebration get underway at 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25, at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Conference Center, 201 Abraham Flexner Way. Admission is free but reservations in advance are required by Oct. 11 at 502-852-6318.

Founded in 1990 as part of the National Cancer Institute’s National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer, KAAAC is a program of the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL. It is a coalition of concerned citizens, health care providers and cancer survivors working to reduce cancer health disparities in the African American population through education, outreach, patient support and advocacy.

The need is great. African Americans continue to suffer the greatest burden for each of the most common types of cancer. For all cancers combined, the death rate for cancer is 25 percent higher for African Americans than for whites in the United States. Among cancer types, African American men are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. And while breast cancer is diagnosed 10 percent less frequently in African American women than white women, African-American women are 40 percent more likely to die from the disease.

The volunteers who provide the services of KAAAC will be honored at the celebration along with churches and other community partners and cancer survivors. Jason Chesney, deputy director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL, will address the need for African American participation in clinical research trials. The event also will feature an opening ceremony with interpretive dance and drums; food from the Harriet B. Porter Culinary Institute, a training program for kitchen ministries to encourage healthier eating for church congregations; and other entertainment. Mistress of ceremonies will be Dawne Gee of WAVE3.

The NPFR conducts patient education and patient advocacy programs to improve health matters in minority and underserved communities and to educate about health, diseases and clinical trials. The event is sponsored by the “AACT I Lecture Series” to promote African-American enrollment in clinical trials of the National Physician and Family Referral Project.