Focusing on health equity is not new to the American Cancer Society, in fact it is embedded in almost everything we do.
The COVID-19 pandemic as exacerbated disparities among our most vulnerable populations. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health, based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location,; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. For example, despite lower incidence rates among black women, they have death rates for breast cancer that are 41% higher than white women.
Addressing the inequities in cancer outcomes requires all of us to use a health equity lens in our work. Our families, friends, colleagues, and communities are counting on us. We are hosting this virtual Breast Health Equity Summit to educate our communities and influence policy decisions for meaningful, sustainable change.