Cancer-related health disparities in the U.S. have been well documented. Cancer incidence (all sites combined) has declined in recent years for the population as a whole and for all racial/ethnic groups except American Indian/Alaska native women. However black men continued to show the highest incidence rates over time during the past decade. Similarly, death rates declined over the same time period for all racial/ethnic groups, but black men and women continued to show the highest mortality rates for all cancers combined, even though cancer incidence for black women is not elevated for most cancers. People of low socio-economic status also show elevated cancer incidence and cancer mortality. Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention measures are experienced less frequently in racial/ethnic minority groups. Behavioral risk factors for cancer (smoking, secondhand smoke exposure, physical inactivity, obesity, excess alcohol use) are elevated in many racial/ethnic minorities compared to the general population. Some racial/ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive screening for early stage detection and treatment, and health disparities in post-diagnosis cancer care are common across cancer sites and at all stages. One strategy for reducing racial/ethnic and socio-economic disparities in cancer is to increase the number of individuals, both minorities and others, who are prepared to conduct research in this area. The overall goal of this R25T proposal is to educate researchers who are prepared to develop, test and evaluate interventions in both clinical and population settings to reduce cancer-related inequities among disadvantaged populations (broadly defined here to include race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, income, geography, gender, sexual orientation, etc). We intend also to enhance the diversity of the research workforce in this area by specifically recruiting individuals from underrepresented/disadvantaged populations. This program is innovative in focusing on intervention to reduce cancer disparities;in focusing on education and experience in community-based research;and in providing mentoring by community members who can provide cultural mentoring and partnership in all aspects of research.
This CECDP proposal will assist the nation in achieving goals to reduce cancer risk factors in the population, reduce cancer morbidity and reduce cancer mortality by focusing on intervention to change behaviors and systems. This proposal will also reduce health disparities in cancer prevention and treatment, and increase equity in the workforce conducting cancer intervention research.
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