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Pfizer and the American Cancer Society Launch Initiative to Bridge the Gap in Cancer Care Disparities

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Ayanna Amadi
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Pfizer and the American Cancer Society Launch Initiative to Bridge the Gap in Cancer Care Disparities

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Pfizer have launched a three-year initiative called 'Change the Odds: Uniting to Improve Cancer Outcomes'. This collaborative effort aims to bridge the gap in cancer care disparities and improve health outcomes in medically underrepresented communities across the United States. The focus of this initiative is on breast and prostate cancer, two types of cancer that disproportionately impact certain communities.

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Increasing Awareness and Access

The primary objective of the initiative is to increase awareness of and access to cancer screening, clinical trials, and support in communities that are medically underrepresented. Pfizer has committed $15 million in funding to the initiative. The American Cancer Society plans to leverage its extensive network to raise awareness about screenings and access to programs and services in communities disproportionately affected by cancer. The goal is to remove barriers to care due to circumstances and geography, making a significant difference in underserved communities.

Addressing Whole Health Needs

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Another key focus of the initiative is to address the whole health needs of these communities. This includes tackling the feelings of isolation and providing access to scientific advancements in care. The American Cancer Society plans to engage additional partners to extend the reach of the programmatic activities to more individuals and deepen the impact in select communities.

Empowering Patients and Healthcare Providers

Part of the strategy is to empower patients and healthcare providers in medically underrepresented communities. The initiative aims to provide them with critical information about clinical trials and address potential barriers to trial participation. This is seen as a crucial step towards addressing the disparities in cancer care.

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Focus on Breast and Prostate Cancer

Initially, the initiative will concentrate on breast and prostate cancer in medically underserved communities. These communities, including people of color, those with lower socioeconomic status, and those living in rural areas, often have limited access to quality healthcare. This leads to disparities in cancer care, with black women and men being disproportionately affected by breast and prostate cancers. They have higher incidence rates and lower survival rates compared to their white counterparts.

Access to High-Quality Care and Treatments

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The collaboration between ACS and Pfizer aims to deliver access to high-quality care and treatments for every individual in these medically underrepresented communities. This includes access to cancer screenings, clinical trial opportunities, patient support, and comprehensive navigation. By addressing issues such as barriers to accessing cancer screening and quality care, social isolation, and mortality rates in rural areas, the initiative hopes to effect real, meaningful change.

A Significant Investment

Pfizer's investment of $15 million in this initiative underlines the importance and urgency of addressing these disparities in cancer care. The American Cancer Society and Pfizer believe that everyone should have an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. It is their commitment to ensuring that this becomes a reality for all communities, regardless of their socioeconomic status or location.

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