Group's plan would help underserved cancer patients

Hoping to help underserved cancer patients, an advocacy group issued a plan this week outlining how to reach them and improve their care. The report found that Native Americans, Alaskan natives and those living in the outer islands of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and other Pacific Islands show cancer incidence and death rates similar to third-world countries, according to the Intercultural Cancer Council Caucus. As a group, African Americans face the highest cancer burden, with cancer deaths 35 percent percent higher than the general population for black men and 18 percent higher for black women. The report also concludes that poor whites living in regions like the Appalachian Mountains often have cancer diagnosis rates as high or higher than those for ethnic minority groups facing disparities in care.

The group's recommendations include enhancing the collection of data that will better describe racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in cancer care, increasing funding for programs providing better access to cancer screening, eliminating barriers to more effective pain management and palliative care for minorities and the underserved.

To get more data from the report:
- read this ICCC press release

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