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Access and equity to cancer care in the USA: a review and assessment
  1. L A Siminoff1,
  2. L Ross2
  1. 1Case Western Reserve University, Department of Bioethics and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cleveland, USA
  2. 2Case Western Reserve University, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L A Siminoff
 Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Department of Bioethics (TA-215), 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4976, USA;


Cancer represents a serious threat to the health of women and men living in the USA. As the second leading cause of death, it claims about 500 000 lives annually. Health disparities occur when there are differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease among specific sub-populations within a specified region. For decades, disparities have been reported among Americans from racial/ethnic minority groups and those from low income groups. African Americans, the largest racial minority group in the USA, have the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the USA; it is about 10% higher in African Americans than in white people. Inequities in insurance status among Americans adversely affect their ability to obtain the entire range of cancer care. Those who are members of ethnic minorities and the working poor are especially apt to have poorer access to care and reduced quality of cancer care services as a result.

  • cancer care
  • health insurance
  • health disparities
  • quality of care
  • access

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.