Focusing on health equity is not new to the American Cancer Society, in fact it is embedded in almost everything they do.
Health officials said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities among our most vulnerable populations. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, but it doesn't affect everyone equally, they said.
Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health, based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. For example, despite lower incidence rates among black women, they have death rates for breast cancer that are 41% higher than white women, the American Cancer Society said.
"Addressing the inequities in cancer outcomes requires all of us to use a health equity lens in our work. Our families, friends, colleagues, and communities are counting on us," the American Cancer Society said.
They hosted a virtual Breast Health Equity Summit to educate communities and influence policy decisions for meaningful, sustainable change. Morning Anchor Reba Hollingsworth with CBS 6 in Richmond moderated it on Thursday.