(HealthDay News) — Racial and ethnic minorities and other medically underserved populations have a disproportionate share of the burden for certain types of cancer, according to a report issued by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Noting that unprecedented progress has been made against cancer and that these advances have not benefited everyone equally, Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues investigated disparities in cancer.
The authors note that overall cancer incidence and mortality are declining steadily across all population groups, but disparities remain a public health challenge. Racial and ethnic minorities and other medically underserved populations have a disproportionate share of the burden for certain types of cancer. Discriminatory policies, systemic inequities, and structural barriers resulting from a long history of racism in the United States have caused and perpetuated cancer health disparities. Social determinants of health are being used to explore and address cancer health disparities and include economic factors, such as education and income; modifiable factors, such as tobacco use and physical inactivity; psychological factors, including stress and mental health; environmental factors; health care access and experiences; and biological and genetic factors.
“We cannot achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating cancer as a life-threatening disease for all unless we comprehensively address the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle features that characterize the entirety of our diverse patient population,” Newman said in a statement. “The AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022 explores these issues and provides an action plan for addressing them, which includes a blueprint for strengthening the diversity of our oncology workforce, so that we enlist the brilliance and creativity of individuals from all communities as allies in the war on cancer.”