Otis W. Brawley, MD | Authors

Health-Care Disparities, Civil Rights, and Human Rights

April 01, 2007

With regard to cancer management, minority populations do not fare as well as the majority in the US health-care system. There is clear evidence of an increased incidence of cancer in minority populations, in many cases accompanied by reduced survival. Several factors appear to contribute to these differences, and the biomedical community has begun to focus on definining the scope of the problem and possible solutions. This review will address specific areas of disparity in cancer care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes, and will consider steps toward resolving these issues.

Disparities in Cancer Care Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Review 2

September 01, 2006

The 2005 National Health Disparities Report found disparities related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status in the United States health-care system. While varying in magnitude, disparities were observed in almost all aspects of health care including cancer. Disparities were noted across quality and access to health care, levels and types of health care, various health-care settings, and within many subpopulations. In this review, we explore the disparities in cancer care among racial and ethnic minorities. In particular we consider numerous factors that may influence health care for racial and ethnic minority groups including socioeconomic issues, access, cultural beliefs, risk factors, and comorbidities. Although there are extensive confounding factors that vary with each subgroup, trends that may help individual practitioners better understand this complex issue become evident through closer evaluation of available data.

Race and Cancer Genetics: Lessons From BRCA1

January 01, 2002

The study of cancer in specific populations can offer clues useful in determining the extrinsic and intrinsic factors influencing cancer in all populations. Extrinsic factors are sometimes called "environmental" in the broadest sense of the word. They are modifiable or mutable. Intrinsic factors are more inherent to the individual. They are almost always genetic and are immutable or unchangeable. Targeting research on specific populations is and should be a significant ethical issue.