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Addressing Disparities in Care Among Black Men and Women With Cancer


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The American Cancer Society and Pfizer have approved grants totaling more than $3.7 million focused on reducing racial disparities in care and helping to optimize cancer outcomes for Black men and women in 10 communities. The goal is to address systemic race-related barriers and disparities in the delivery of care, which impact outcomes across all cancer types.

The grants, funded by Pfizer Global Medical Grants and overseen by the American Cancer Society, are part of the Addressing Racial Disparities in Cancer Care Competitive Grant Program, a 3-year collaboration working to promote equity in factors that impact cancer outcomes for Black men and women.

Recognizing Obstacles

Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. In the United States, Black people experience more illness, worse outcomes, and premature death compared with White people. Further, Black people have the highest death rate and shortest survival for most cancers of any U.S. racial or ethnic group. Black men also have the highest cancer incidence.

“Black people are disproportionately burdened by cancer and experience greater obstacles to cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and survival, including systemic racial disparities that are complex and go beyond the obvious connection to cancer. Obstacles include structural racism, poverty, lack of access to healthy and affordable foods, jobs with inadequate pay, low-quality education and housing, and unsafe environments,” said Laura Makaroff, DO, Senior Vice President, Prevention and Early Detection, of the American Cancer Society.

Laura Makaroff, DO

Laura Makaroff, DO

Dany Habr, MD

Dany Habr, MD

Many factors significantly impact the ability to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Factors such as income, education, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability status can affect an individual’s choices—and more importantly, the opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

“While significant advancements are occurring in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, Black men and women still face barriers to timely and equitable care,” said Dany Habr, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Oncology. “Improving care and creating change requires partnership and collaboration across the health-care ecosystem. We look forward to seeing the outputs of these initiatives and their impact to address the disparities in care that Black men and women living with cancer face today,” he added

Grant Awardees

In a highly competitive process, each applicant was asked to provide local solutions to local problems across the cancer continuum. The awardees will pursue a variety of efforts, from cancer screening to support in cancer survivorship, for Black men and women. The following institutions were chosen for funding, which will begin in January 2021:

  • Alameda Health System, California
  • Augusta University Research Institute, Georgia
  • Medstar Health Research Institute, Washington, DC
  • Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers
  • Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
  • Montefiore Medical Center, New York
  • Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
  • Temple University, Pennsylvania
  • University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.

 


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