What are cancer disparities?

Cancer disparities are health inequities that span the full cancer continuum, across the life course. They involve social inequalities in the prevention, incidence, prevalence, detection and treatment, survival, mortality and burden of cancer and other cancer-related health conditions and behaviors.

To address disparities in cancer, we are facilitating collaborations, mentoring investigators new to cancer disparities research, and disseminating research and knowledge about cancer disparities.

How do cancer disparities occur?

They may arise singly or in combination from various social forces — adverse working and living conditions, inadequate health care, as linked to experiences and policies involving socioeconomic position; for example, occupation, income, wealth, poverty, debt, and education. They also may arise from discrimination, both institutional and interpersonal, which can be based on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic position, gender, sexuality, age, language, literacy, disability, immigration status, insurance status, geographic location, housing status, and other relevant social categories.