Addressing Disparities in Cancer: Factors Influencing Care, Access and Outcomes

In their March 2006 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) showed overwhelming evidence of the existence of health related disparities for racial and ethnic minorities. The report’s definition of cancer health related disparities refers to the unequal treatment of patient population groups — the difference in treatment or access not justified by the differences in health status or preferences of the groups — on the basis of race, ethnicity, and sometimes on the basis of gender, socioeconomic status, age or other patient characteristics.

Over the last decade multiple medical societies and governmental agencies have studied the cause of cancer health disparities as well as attempted to identify solutions to the problem.

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