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pharmiweb.com today | 29 March 2017

Panelists Urge Attendees to Break Down Silos and Address Biases in Cancer Care

Eliminating cancer disparities and reducing differences in incidence and mortality rates among minority populations must be addressed through research in prevention, screening, clinical trials, equal access to quality care, palliative and hospice care, and survivorship programs, according to panelists who spoke March 23, 2017 at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 22nd Annual Conference: Improving the Quality, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Cancer Care™ at the Rosen Shingle Creek Conference Center in Orlando. Moreover, the panelists agreed that recognizing the needs of minorities and underserved communities in delivering cancer care are most important aspects that must be addressed as related to race and ethnicity, cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, age, gender, and other individual factors to impact disparities....

Participants in the opening NCCN Roundtable: Addressing Health Disparities in Cancer Care from Diagnosis to Survivorship, spoke before an audience of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other oncology stakeholders and industry leaders from among 1,600 conference attendees who convened to hear the effects of health policy on underserved populations, and psychosocial issues that impact patient quality of life.  

Moderator Clifford Goodman, PhD, Senior Vice President of The Lewin Group, opened the session by introducing the panelists and expressing his own concerns about health care disparities on the day when Congress was expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  "The vote taken today could put already disadvantaged populations at greater risk," Dr. Goodman said.  The vote, however, has been postponed indefinitely.  

The panelists included Shauntice Allen, PhD, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, who lives with metastatic breast cancer; Moon S. Chen Jr., PhD, MPH, of the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; Anne Filipic of Enroll America, a non-profit organization dedicated to maximizing the number of Americans enrolled in health coverage made available through the Affordable Care Act; Edith Mitchell, MD, a retired Air Force General, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, and the Associate Director, Diversity Affairs of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University; and Phyllis Pettit Nassi, MSW, Associate Director of Research & Science, Special Populations, at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at The University of Utah, enrolled in the Otoe-Missouri Tribe and a member of the Cherokee Nation.  

Dr. Goodman began by asking the panelists to describe what health care disparities look like in America.

The absence of honest conversations about differences in class, culture, and social experiences lead to differences

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