Published on July 14, 2020
Quality Cancer Care for Everyone
When I was diagnosed with leukemia at age 45, I never had to choose between lifesaving treatment for myself and putting food on the table for my family. I never had to go to work with a compromised immune system because I couldn’t afford to miss a paycheck or was worried a sick day would cost me my job. I was never discriminated against because of my skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or religious beliefs.
None of these things happened to me.
I am a white, heterosexual, middle-class man with health insurance, access to quality care, and a loving, supportive family. And yet, cancer turned my life upside down. How much more trying must a cancer diagnosis be for those who face discrimination and barriers to treatment?
Certain cancer types hit some racial groups harder than others. Socioeconomic status and fear of discrimination cause people to delay care or avoid it completely. Vulnerable populations have less access to clinical trials, are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage, have higher death rates, and are more likely to be underinsured or not insured at all.
Too many people do not get the cancer care they need and deserve. And that’s where Patient Power’s commitment comes in.
We have always believed in and advocated for healthcare equality. We cover and will continue to cover diverse and vital topics, like:
- Disparities in Cancer Care for Women of Color
- Why We Need to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials
- Improving Care for LGBTQ Cancer Patients
- The Stigma of Male Breast Cancer
- Coping with the Cost of Cancer
We also recently signed the Diversity and Inclusion Pledge for Women of Color, promising to “advocate for and activate the inclusion of women of color across initiatives that impact their cancer support and overall health.”
We are honored to stand alongside the Tigerlily Foundation, Angel in Disguise, and other like-minded organizations and advocates. Working together, we will break down barriers and advance health equity.
In addition to signing the pledge and publicly declaring our support, we are committed to recruiting more speakers of color, deepening and diversifying our body of educational resources, leveraging our access to health-industry partners and more. We invite you to read the pledge and join us.
Just a few years ago my family and I lived in Spain, where there is a healthcare system run by the government and open to all. During our three years there, we never had the feeling that the right treatment options for cancer—or any serious illness—were unavailable or withheld from anyone. That is the way it should be here in the United States. Sadly, it is not.
You can count on Patient Power to shine a light on healthcare disparities, to showcase the diversity of people and issues in our content, and to be strong advocates and allies. We are dedicated to education, empowerment and advocacy so ALL people get the most appropriate cancer care, regardless of skin color, economic status, gender or sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
Everyone should have access to the same kind of quality healthcare that I have been so lucky to receive. And we will work tirelessly until that happens.
We welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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