Despite recent advances in the treatment of lung cancer, the disease is responsible for almost 25% of U.S. cancer deaths. And those deaths occur disproportionately in certain groups. Lung cancer mortality rates are nearly 15% higher among Black men compared with white men. A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis found that compared with all other racial and ethnic groups in the United States, African Americans are disproportionately affected by lung cancer, in terms of both incidence and survival.

People in rural communities also face elevated lung cancer death rates.

As part of its effort to increase awareness of these disparities and help overcome them, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has teamed with actor, activist and rapper Common for a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign.

“In 2014, my father died after his battle with cancer,” said Common in a SU2C press release. “He was truly someone who inspired me and made me want to be better. I believe that we can do better for ourselves—especially as Black men when it comes to health. I’m honored to support Stand Up To Cancer’s campaign to bring awareness to lung cancer research.”

SU2C’s aims to promote and improve health equity for lung cancer patients, including Black people and those living in medically underserved rural communities. The ad featuring Common is the most recent in a string of PSAs the group produced as part of its Health Equity Initiative, which launched in January 2020.

The PSAs are produced in print, digital, radio and out-of-home media formats; the print and radio ads run in English- and Spanish-language versions.

The Health Equity Initiative aims to increase diversity in clinical trials for cancer and supporting cancer research to improve outcomes and screening rates among disadvantaged communities.

“More than 235,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S., and research shows there are stark disparities in lung cancer diagnosis among diverse and rural communities,” observed Sung Poblete, PhD, the CEO of SU2C. “Stand Up To Cancer is committed to saving lives by accelerating cancer research and reducing barriers to clinical trial participation in medically underserved communities.

To learn more about lung cancer, read “Lung Cancer Screening.” To check out a previous Stand Up To Cancer PSA, read “Chuck D and Pete Colon Team Up to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening [VIDEO].”