The most important thing about the disparity in cancer survival is that it exists and all health care providers should be aware of this fact. Understanding that there is a problem is the first step in identifying where the problem lies and tackling possible solutions. There is no doubt that research is needed to identify the specific causes for this disparity in cancer survival. This disparity as highlighted in the previous paragraphs includes differences in health care delivery, in access to care and other areas. There is an impressive body of knowledge documenting health disparity among many groups in various cancers. However, many of these studies focus primarily on SES. The ethnobiology also needs to be considered.
In summary, health care disparity in cancer is an area in which there is an ever-increasing body of knowledge. However, there is a need to identify the actual determinants of health care disparity and to distinguish them from those factors with no direct impact. This will become increasingly important as demographics in the United States continue to change. Two goals need to be emphasized in cancer survivorship: we must acknowledge the existence of these ;isparities, and we must also take active steps to reduce and eliminate this phenomenon. Only continued, focused research in this field will achieve these goals.
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