African American patients are more comfortable working with providers of the same race. Still, only about 3% of US oncologists are Black, reducing participation during medical visits. Providers believed African American care could be improved by increasing cultural sensitivity through education and training initiatives and increasing staff diversity. A recent study indicated a need to develop new to increase awareness of EOL care options for underrepresented minorities.
This is underscored by the fact that prognostic estimates and treatment decision-making in cancer care are primarily based on clinical trials and statistics published by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Both data sets suffer from low participation by ethnic and racial minorities, even though members of these groups generally experience disproportionately higher mortality rates relative to the entire US population. The lack of widespread participation in clinical trials thus leads to problems in the scientific quality of the research, generalizability of the results, and speed of scientific discovery.
What can we do about it?
MyCancerJourney empowers newly diagnosed cancer patients with information tailored to their unique characteristics, clinical condition, and goals for care. MyCancerJourney combines personalized, high-tech analytics based on millions of real-world patients with the human touch of board-certified cancer support professionals to help you make informed care decisions.
First, our data sets reflect millions of patients, including those not included in clinical trials and individuals with other health issues common in minority groups, such as diabetes and heart disease. With this information, we can personalize treatment to minority patients.
Having the information is the first step; relating it to the individual makes the real difference. We can match patients with cancer with board-certified patient navigators of the same race to share information and provide support from a human perspective. When patients are provided information and support, they can better understand their treatment options and better advocate for resources available to them, such as genetic counseling and testing referrals.
The final step is awareness. Patients deserve to know this information and that support is available to them. MyCancerJourney provides answers to some of the most critical questions patients with cancer ask. Its groundbreaking data platform leverages the largest cancer outcomes dataset of its kind, offering the most comprehensive information available. Get in touch with MyCancerJourney via Online, and we will get back to you within one business day.
- Smith AK, McCarthy EP, Paulk E, et al. Racial and ethnic differences in advance care planning among patients with cancer: impact of terminal illness acknowledgment, religiousness, and treatment preferences. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:4131–4137. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
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