Eliminating Cancer Disparities in the Black Community Starts with Health Equity

February 14, 2023

Family walking on the beachBlack History Month is a time to reaffirm the deep roots of Black history and culture in the United States, celebrate the diverse achievements of Black Americans, support Black communities and advance equity in all forms, and uplift Black joy.  

We’re commemorating this Black History Month by highlighting the importance of health equity and policies that increase equitable access to cancer care for all, raising awareness of cancer disparities in the Black community, spotlighting the pivotal work of our Black volunteers, and honoring Black figures who have made invaluable contributions to health equity and cancer care.   

Cancer impacts everyone, but it doesn't impact everyone equally. Despite some progress, Black communities still have a higher cancer burden and face greater obstacles to cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survival because of systemic factors that are complex and go beyond the obvious connection to cancer. These obstacles include structural racism, poverty, jobs with inadequate pay, low quality education and housing, and limited access to the healthcare system and insurance coverage.   

Reducing cancer disparities across the cancer continuum and advancing health equity for everyone is an overarching goal of both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and ACS CAN. Health equity means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer.   

To ACS and ACS CAN, health equity is essential to our mission. It’s what we believe in, and it’s a moral imperative if we are to achieve our vision of ending cancer as we know it, for everyone. Most importantly, if we are to reduce cancer disparities, we need to listen to the experiences and perspectives of Black people with cancer, their caregivers, and their communities, and engage them in the fight against cancer every step of the way. It will take all of us working together to do this.   

Stay tuned for more this Black History Month on social media and our website.  We hope you’ll join us.