BNC’s ‘Be Well’ Series Highlights Health Issues in Black Community

In Summary

BNC is highlighting diseases and health issues disproportionately impacting the Black community in a new series. 

BNC, a network committed to engaging African American viewers, is dedicated to giving a voice to underserved communities in all sectors, including health.  

In a new “Be Well” series, the network highlights health issues that disproportionately impact the Black community with personal stories, advice from experts and tips on living and being well.  

Breast Cancer  

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women. While mortality rates continue to fall, new studies show Black women in the United States are more likely to die from breast cancer, regardless of when they received their diagnosis.  

The warning signs of breast cancer include:  

  • A breast mass in the underarm 
  • Redness and swelling 
  • Nipple discharge 
  • Thickening of breast 
  • Extreme Pain 
  • Retraction of nipples  

Resources for breast cancer can be found here

Colon Cancer  

While colon cancer is a disease that has a successful cure rate, early detection is key. African Americans are more than 20% more likely to develop colon cancer and 40% more likely to die from the disease.  

The warning signs of colon cancer include:  

  • A persistent change in bowel habits 
  • Bloody stool 
  • Abdominal discomfort that is persistent 
  • Weakness or fatigue 
  • Unexplained weight loss  

Resources for colon cancer can be found here

Lung Cancer

It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. African Americans, particularly Black men, develop the disease at higher rates than any other group, but there are things that can be done to protect yourself and your family.

Resources for lung cancer can be found here.


October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. 16% of Black people in the United States have reported having a mental illness. Jay Barnett, a former pro-footballer who is now a licensed therapist, author and speaker, is one of them. After a personal experience contemplating suicide, he turned to therapy to heal from past traumas and pain. Now, he’s helping Black men do the same.

Sleep Deprivation

According to the National Health Interview Study, between 1977 and 2009 Black adults were twice as likely to sleep less than seven hours per night. 

Experts talk about the importance of rest in America, especially among Black people, and give tips on how to get proper rest.  

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death for men in the United States, but when caught early, there is hope.BNC correspondent Anita Bennett speaks with a man whose cancer battle inspired him to help others.

Black Maternal Health

In comparison to other affluent nations, the United States has the worst maternal mortality rate. This is especially true for Black women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the deaths are preventable. As part of BNC’s Be Well series, viewers are introduced to a mother and follow her through her pregnancy journey.

Black Women & Stress

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black women live three years less on average than their white counterparts. The organization says the cause may be related to stress. In today’s installment of the Be Well series, BNC examines weathering, which is a hypothesis that says premature biological aging is connected to racism.


As part of the Be Well series, BNC is taking a look at an issue that affects around 70% of women and disproportionately impacts women of color. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 80% of Black women will have fibroids by the age of 50, and they tend to experience more severe symptoms. BNC’s Astrid Martinez shares the story of a woman getting candid about her diagnosis and how inequity in healthcare fails Black and Latino women.

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.   

Latest in Health


Child Abuse Report: Deaths of Black Children Up During COVID-19 Pandemic 


CDC Suggests High Schools Should Cancel Football and Band 

South Carolina Infant Mortality Rates


South Carolina Sees Nearly 7% Drop in Infant Mortality Rates in 2020

Washington, D.C. COVID-19


DC Public School Students, Staff to Submit Negative COVID-19 Test Results

Jada Pinkett Smith Alopecia


Jada Pinkett Smith Isn’t Letting Alopecia Hair Loss Stain Her Red Table


South Africa’s Drop in New COVID-19 Cases Could Indicate Omicron Peak Has Passed


FDA Authorizes 2nd COVID-19 Pill From Merck


Dr. Rochelle Walensky Advises People To Be Safe During Holiday Season