Even though we have come a long way from the days of slavery, racial discrimination and disparities are still entrenched in American society. In many cases, racial biases prevent people of color from receiving high-quality medical care, with some studies showing that Black Americans are often undertreated for pain.
Overall, the National Academy of Medicine has found that Black patients are much more likely to receive inferior care from their physicians compared to White patients. When it comes to serious medical conditions such as cancer, these disparities can have lifelong and even fatal consequences. Speaking at the annual Patient-Centered Oncology Care (PCOC) meeting, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) senior director of policy & advocacy Alyssa Schatz said that adhering to clinical guidelines could go a long way toward mitigating treatment disparities in cancer patients.
Schatz noted that the causes behind disparities noticed in cancer outcomes are “multifactorial,” with some studies revealing that patients who are diagnosed with cancer usually receive low-quality care whether or not they have sufficient insurance. She said that adhering to “guideline-directed care” can help to close these outcome disparities while also simultaneously reducing treatment costs, especially if it is paired with a clinical support tool.
Her talk, titled “Advancing Equitable Care Through Guidelines Adherence,” was the opener for the yearly PCOC meeting in Nashville. Schatz noted that there were “deep, ongoing as well as longstanding inequities” regarding access to high-quality medical care. She also acknowledged America’s long history characterized by interpersonal and structural racism, stating that the effects of this history run deep and still affect modern institutions and systems.
Our healthcare system, for instance, does not serve patients equitably, she said, stating that there are obvious racial disparities regarding optimal guideline-focused medical care. Compared to their White counterparts, Black patients tend to be “dramatically less likely” to receive guideline-focused care.
Coincidentally, NCCN released the findings of a new Duke School of Medicine study that found Black patients who were non-Hispanic suffering from ovarian cancer were “much less likely” to receive medical care in comparison to White patients. Shatz noted that these racial disparities often occur due to reasons such as the limited number of nurses and doctors in oncology coupled with a shortage of minority subjects enrolled during clinical trials.
Such racial disparities significantly impact health outcomes and reduce a patient’s chances of surviving their condition and enjoying a high quality of life afterward. According to Shatz, following the NCCN guidelines may reduce the odds of factors such as social determinants and implicit bias pushing poor cancer outcomes in people of color.
As these disparities are addressed, all cancer patients will have an equal chance of benefiting from the superior oncology formulations that entities such as QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) are focused on bringing to market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/QSAM
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