Reducing Health Disparities

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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 16, 2022

Discrimination in health care and quality of care remain barriers to receiving care for Black and Hispanic cancer patients and survivors, according to preliminary data from a forthcoming American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Survivor Views survey.

May 11, 2022
National

Eighty-seven organizations representing patients with chronic and acute health conditions, sent a letter to Congress today urging them to improve the diversity of enrollment in clinical trials as part of this year’s Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) reauthorization.

May 6, 2022
Arizona

Governor Ducey signed legislation that will ensure biomarker testing is covered by more insurance plans, including Medicaid. The new law will enable more Arizonans to benefit from biomarker testing, a critical step in accessing precision medicine treatments that can lead to improved survival, better quality of life.

April 26, 2022
Oregon

As ballots are mailed out starting Wednesday, April 27, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Washington County voters to protect youth from Big Tobacco by voting “no” on Measure 34-314, which would repeal the county’s ordinance to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products. Last year, Washington County became the first county in Oregon to end the sale of flavored tobacco, and now the tobacco industry is funding the campaign to try and overturn this law.

Reducing Health Disparities Resources

Disparities have been described in various domains of cancer research, each issue exists separately and has a different relationship to understanding and addressing disparities in clinical outcomes. The various domains of research disparities are explored in Cancer Research and Disparities: Understanding and Addressing the Issues. 

ACS CAN submitted comments to the National Institute of Health Request for Information: Inviting Comments and Suggestions to Advance and Strengthen Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Biomedical Research Workforce and Advance Health Disparities and Health Equity Research

Our ability to continue to make progress against cancer relies heavily on eliminating the inequities that exist in the prevention and early detection of cancer. This factsheet explores how health outcomes vary across groups, barriers to cancer screenings, and how ACS CAN is taking action.