Reducing Health Disparities


Cancer impacts everyone, but it doesn’t impact everyone equally. We are working to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. No one should be disadvantaged in their fight against cancer because of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, their disability status, or where they live.

From ensuring greater diversity among clinical trial participants to improving access to quality, affordable health care, we are asking lawmakers to reduce disparities in cancer care by advancing policies that break down existing barriers.

Black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women overall

Latest Updates

May 15, 2024

Federal legislation that would make it easier for all cancer patients to participate in clinical trials was introduced today in the House. Sponsored by Reps. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) and Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), the Clinical Trial Modernization Act is bipartisan legislation that would increase access to clinical trials by helping remove cost and geographic barriers to patient participation.

May 3, 2024

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a new rule to expand insurance coverage eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

April 24, 2024
National, New Jersey

The following is a statement from Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), on the passing of U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-N.J.).

March 26, 2024

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from across Hawaii met with their legislators at the Hawaii State Capitol Thursday to urge them to support HB1301. If enacted, the policy would enable funding for a multiethnic cohort study by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the Hawaii Pacific region.

Reducing Health Disparities Resources

Our latest survey finds that about half of cancer patients and survivors (49%) have incurred medical debt to pay for their cancer care and another 13% expect to incur medical debt as they begin or continue their treatment. Nearly all of those (98%) had health care coverage at the time they accumulated medical debt. This survey also explores the broad health and financial implications of medical debt, how medical debt deepens inequites, and the alarming rate of cancer related medical debt among younger respondents with early diagnoses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) is highly effective at detecting and treating breast and cervical cancer in low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women – who may otherwise not be screened. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Congress to reauthorize this critical program by passing the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act.

A critical factor for eliminating disparities and ensuring health equity is the guarantee that all people have access to quality, affordable health care.