Cancer impacts everyone, but it doesn’t impact everyone equally. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is 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, the ACS CAN is asking lawmakers to reduce disparities in cancer care by advancing policies that break down existing barriers.
Nona Ingham, diversity outreach lead for Relay For Life of Gwinnett, national Relay champion for Ricoh USA and Relay participant since 1994, is working to raise awareness and address disparities in cancer healthcare among the diverse populations in our community.
“Gwinnett County has the largest Asian population in the state and one of the largest in the southeast,” Ingham says. “And what we’ve seen over the last 20 years, with statistics and the fight against cancer is that our Caucasian and Black populations have made some great strides in the fight against cancer. We’ve seen death rates drop in some areas by 40%. What we haven’t seen is that same drop in the Latino and Asian communities including the Pacific Islander and Native American communities.
“And it’s partly due to a lack of awareness and early screening communication. When grandma gets sick, sometimes those communities don’t talk about grandma getting sick in the same way that the other ones do. And so that’s something that that we’re really focused on as we move forward and getting those additional communities engaged so everyone has the opportunity to survive this beast the same as others.”
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