American Society of Clinical Oncology policy statement: Disparities in cancer care
Delivery of Health Care
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has embarked on an intensive campaign to integrate elimination of cancer health disparities into the Society's overall mission and activities. Key components of this commitment are enhancing awareness of disparities; improving access to care; and supporting research on health disparities. Major objectives are to advance the education of the oncology community in the care of patients from underserved and minority populations; increase the diversity of the clinical oncology workforce as a requisite to improving access to cancer care for the underserved; and support research in the area of health disparities. Racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care are an issue of critical importance to ASCO, the oncology community, and our society at large. The health disparities initiative outlined herein enunciates ASCO's dedication to eliminating disparities in cancer care and discusses our multipronged approach for addressing disparities within the clinical oncology community. ASCO is committed to collaborating with the diverse community of stakeholders to undertake the following: develop policies to guarantee equal access to quality health care, with special emphasis on reducing insurance and economic barriers to cancer care; develop a comprehensive plan to increase awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care; execute a strategy to enhance the supply of minority physicians and to improve the training of the oncology workforce to meet the needs of racially and ethnically diverse cancer patients; increase prioritization of public and private research on cancer care disparities; develop mechanisms to increase participation of racially and ethnically diverse populations in cancer clinical trials; and support initiatives to enhance patients' involvement in their cancer care.