Midwest Division - Health Equity Department

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Cancer steals family, friends and neighbors from all of us, but the burden of cancer is greater in some populations.

Racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved groups are more likely to develop cancer, and die from it, than the general U.S. population. 

Research also shows that people without health insurance are more likely to be treated for cancer at late stages of disease and to receive poor quality care.

The American Cancer Society is committed to promoting equal access to quality cancer care for all people.   Our work in the Midwest Division focuses on culturally diverse and underserved populations in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

What are Cancer Disparities?

Cancer health disparities are defined as differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of cancer and related adverse health conditions, beyond what would be expected under equitable circumstances that exist among specific population groups in the United States.

Some examples of cancer disparities:

  - African Americans have the highest death rate and the shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death among Asian Americans, but affects Asians in different ways based on their country of origin.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death for Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S., accounting for about 20% of all deaths.
- Native Americans from the Northern Plains states are more likely than other Native American/American Indians or the general US population to die from cancer.

To get more facts, download our Cancer Disparities Factsheet.  Please visit our Communities page to learn more about how cancer impacts diverse populations.

What is Health Equity?

The American Cancer Society believes in equal access to quality cancer care.  Creating health equity means creating equitable conditions where all people receive information and access to cancer prevention, detection and treatment.  Our work educates and mobilizes culturally diverse and underserved communities and ultimately strives to save lives from cancer. 

Our work builds capacity in the communities we serve.  Advancing health equity is possible by creating key partnerships with:

  - Federally Qualified Community Health Centers to implement policies and systems to increase age and risk appropriate cancer screening rates.  
- Faith-based and service organizations to offer community programs and training. 
- Community health workers to promote cancer prevention and early detection through education and outreach.
- Culturally diverse volunteers to educate the community, family and friends.

 Please visit  About Us to learn more about our team.


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