Joya Delgado Harris, of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, briefed the White House Cancer Moonshot on disparities in cancer care for vulnerable and historically disenfranchised communities at a meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 19. The meeting was convened by the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) to brief the White House Cancer Moonshot on the importance of working hand-in-hand at the community level to address cancer inequities and the intention for collaboration on a national effort to close the gap in cancer screening.
Last year, the Biden Administration reignited the Cancer Moonshot and set a new national goal: reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. The mission of NMQF’s Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative is to move medical standards in the country from late-stage to early-stage detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer; improving cancer care, and reducing the incidence of cancer deaths for all, with a particular focus on health equity in underrepresented populations.
The briefing led by Gary A. Puckrein, NMQF President and CEO, brought together stakeholders from the oncology community, minority health organizations, cancer experts and patient advocates to discuss earlier detection and treatment of cancer among underserved populations.
Speakers highlighted the link between environmental injustice, health disparities, and increased cancer incidence in at-risk, historically disenfranchised communities as well as the emergence of multi-cancer early detection technologies that could fundamentally shift cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment to an earlier stage.
Attendees also discussed investments needed to reduce health disparities including improving patient navigation of health resources, patient-provider communication, awareness of cancer screening and treatment options as well as rebuilding trust between the disenfranchised communities and key health stakeholders.
Other speakers included Dr. Durado Brooks of Exact Sciences; Shanda Cooper of Tigerlily Foundation; Bryon Daily of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Latoya Hill of Kaiser Family Foundation; Dr. Rena Jones of the National Cancer Institute; Dr. Alpa Patel of American Cancer Society; Darrol Roberts of Hessian Labs; Juny Simpson of Genentech; Matthew Tejada of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Flint activist Arthur Woodson.
The National Minority Quality Forum will publish a report from the discussion by August 2023. For more information, please visit http://shiftcancer.org.