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Cancer treatment barriers create racial differences in cancer survival



EVery Americans have the right to fair access to the pursuit of life, freedom and happiness. Health care is an essential element of these goals. Cancer treatment, like other medical disciplines, prevents the vast majority of Americans from achieving cancer.

Civil unrest after the death of George Floyd by police officers-and too many others-are related to interpersonal relationships and institutional racism, the judicial system, the economic system, and the health system in our society.

Racial disparity COVID-19 infection, Tests, and care results are painful examples of these inequalities, which also extend to the care of cancer. Last year, more than 73,000 black Americans died of cancer in the United States. They are Highest mortality And for most cancers, the shortest survival of US racial and ethnic groups. The current cancer treatment system fails blacks.


The oncology community must take the time to reflect and launch the hard work to advance a more equitable and equitable cancer treatment system. It is imperative that we all do more to achieve full equity in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survival, palliative care, and research.

Ah Disappointing study Cancer treatment was recently announced by the University of California, Irvine and is related to these issues. This study confirmed what many independent studies to date have shown. Medical care guidelines National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a non-profit organization of 30 major cancer centers I work with to improve the chances of successful treatment and survival. However, researchers found that less than 50% of patients were treated according to these guidelines, and that black individuals received guideline-based care at a much lower rate than non-Hispanic white Americans. It was


Previous studies have also highlighted insurance status, as well as ways to play a key role in determining whether a race is patient. Get optimal care, Proper pain management, And experience Good treatment results.. Wherever racial inequality is found, we must strive to blame and eliminate hospitals, doctor’s offices, insurance coverage, and access to care, among others.

The NCCN Guidelines are tools to protect cancer care equality for all patients. These guidelines are based on the latest evidence and consensus from top interdisciplinary experts on almost all types of cancer and are freely available to physicians and patients. They offer up-to-date and evidence-based options from experts in the best cancer centers in the United States. My colleague and I at NCCN invite health care providers and insurance companies to utilize these resources and treat all patients accordingly. Free for health educators, patients and caregivers NCCN guidelines for patients Learn more about treatment options and advocate for the best possible care.

We must also recognize, address, and eliminate barriers to optimal care.

Oncology community recognized And Pursuing a solution Some of the barriers are cancer treatment and medication costs, transportation and parenting costs, unpaid salaries, lack of insurance and lack of insurance, to name a few. Medicaid can only cover the routine costs of participating in clinical trials in only 12 states, systematically excluding socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals from access to cutting-edge research therapies.

Recent studies have highlighted the need to dramatically improve minority representation in clinical trials. In fact, the article Published on Monday The Annals of Internal Medicine explains how a shamefully underestimated black man is on an oncology exam. This not only affects the care an individual receives, but also raises questions about the universal applicability of test results. There is a need for more targeted education in recruiting clinical trials for both patients and providers.

Barriers such as conscious and unconscious healthcare providers’ prejudice and deep distrust of healthcare providers due to horrific events such as the untreated syphilis tuskegee study still require comprehensive solutions. I will. The medical community needs to regain trust. Bias training, reflection and careful listening throughout health care are a good place to start.

Patients want healthcare providers to have the same background as them. only 8.8% of students A person who started a medical school in the United States in 2019, although supplemented by black people 13.4% of the US population.. The medical community and faculty will work harder to ensure that black individuals become stronger representatives of health workers by strengthening the pipeline of black doctors, nurses and researchers. is needed. Increase mentorship at an early age; accelerate adoption of colored people in the medical field. Black subject matter specialists must be recognized and included in leadership positions as key opinion leaders.

Blacks are not the only Americans suffering from barriers to optimal cancer treatment. Inequalities exist everywhere, whether they arise from ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographical location, sexual orientation or identity, education, language, mental health, disability status, marital status, etc. You need to deal with it. Still, it’s time to make our strongest efforts to the most demanding large groups.

America has a long history of repressing black citizens. It also has a rich history of partially successful efforts to strive for true equality. Now is the time to accelerate these efforts, including cancer treatment. It’s just the right thing to do.

Robert W. Carlson is a Doctor, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford Medical Center.

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