The latest issue of JCO Oncology Practice features a new Special Series of articles examining the disparities and barriers faced in cancer care. The articles detail challenges experienced by people of different cultures, backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic factors, and provides a framework for addressing disparities in underserved communities.
An article in the series, Policy and Health: Leveraging a Social Determinants of Health Framework to Alleviate the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients With Cancer, defines and outlines the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) on people with cancer, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic. SDOH are understood as context in which an individual is born and lives, and include factors like economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, housing, education, food, and access to quality health care.
Another article, the Development of an Actionable Framework to Address Cancer Care Disparities in Medically Underserved Populations in the United States: Expert Roundtable Recommendations, aims to guide researchers, healthcare leaders, advocates, community- and patient-focused service organizations, and policy leaders in their work to address and promote health equity in cancer care access and treatment outcomes.
More articles from this series include:
- Navigating Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Cancer Disparities from a Cultural and Historical Perspective
- Racial Disparities in Intravenous Bisphosphonate Use Among Older Patients With Multiple Myeloma Enrolled in Medicare
- Socioeconomic Factors Influence the Impact of Tumor HPV Status on Outcome of Patients With Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Mobile Applications: Breaking Barriers to Early Breast and Cervical Cancer Detection in Underserved Communities
ASCO is committed to advancing health equity in cancer care and encourages stakeholders in the cancer care community to work toward achieving health equity in cancer research and care. In this vein, ASCO developed the Equity in Cancer Care & Research Center for opportunities and tools to help address disparities. ASCO additionally has developed a free educational series to help the oncology community learn more about the role of SDOH in cancer care and outcomes.