The conclusion of “Eliminating Breast Cancer Health Disparities: Communicating to At-Risk Populations,” a white paper recently released by Friends of Cancer Research, is summed up with a quote from breast cancer survivor Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): “There have been so many advances in screening and treatment of cancer, but all of that is moot if women are not learning about their bodies, taking steps to reduce risk factors, and getting regular and appropriate screening.”
That exemplifies the key takeaway: The white paper is aimed at stakeholders from research to health care delivery, but stakeholders alone won’t be successful in achieving health equity. Patients themselves must be involved too.
The white paper includes four recommendations, with several additional bullet points within each recommendation. The recommendations include:
- Investigate disparities between women with cancer and healthy women;
- Build relationships that work directly with at-risk populations;
- Create expectations for minority participation in the scientific field;
- And use current and emerging technologies to engage a larger number of patients.
Support for the white paper was provided by The Avon Foundation for Women.
Friends of Cancer Research is a Research!America member, and FOCR’s chairperson and founder, Ellen Sigal, PhD, is a Research!America Board member.