Drs. Edith Perez, MD and Lori Pierce, MD discuss the importance of health equity, and the work SU2C and ASCO are doing to increase diversity in cancer research and treatment.
“Everyone has the right to be healthy and is entitled to high-quality care,” Dr. Lori Pierce, President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), exclaims during SU2C’s most recent Facebook Live event discussing the importance of health equity. “Health equity is a simple concept, but it’s become complicated, and there are barriers that need to be addressed and eliminated.”
During the Facebook Live event, SU2C Health Equity Committee Chair, Dr. Edith Perez, and Dr. Pierce engage in an in-depth discussion on the importance of health equity, and SU2C and ASCO’s commitment to improving access to care and long-term survival rates for underrepresented populations.
Dr. Perez says that now more than ever, we must put words into action when it comes to health equity in both cancer research and treatment. For decades, patients of color have been at an increased risk for certain cancers and carry the highest mortality rates and shortest survival rates for most cancers. Yet, only 4% of clinical trial participants are Black, and 5% are Hispanic according to FDA data.
One way SU2C is committed to improving cancer treatment for underrepresented populations is by bringing together the brightest scientific minds from diverse fields through the new SU2C Health Equity Breakthrough Team. This team will be selected and receive funding in early 2021, and will focus on new approaches to address health disparities in cancer care and prevention, and help increase diversity in clinical trial participation. Additionally, SU2C continues to collaborate with organizations like ASCO, Black Women’s Health Imperative, and Friends of Cancer Research to build awareness about the importance of health equity and diverse clinical trial participation.
As SU2C and ASCO remain committed to prioritizing diversity and inclusion across research and awareness initiatives, we hope to continue these critical conversations to inspire action and ensure that all patients facing cancer benefit equally in both research and treatment.