The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Pfizer launched on February 5th, “Change the Odds: Uniting to Improve Cancer OutcomesTM,” a three-year initiative to address disparities in cancer care. Through $15 million in funding from Pfizer, the initiative aims to improve health outcomes in medically underrepresented communities across the United States by enhancing awareness of and access to cancer screenings, clinical trial opportunities, patient support and comprehensive navigation. “Change the Odds” will initially focus on breast and prostate cancer. ACS plans to engage additional partners to extend the reach of the programmatic activities to more individuals and deepen the tangible impact in select communities.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate – and neither should cancer care. Everyone should have the same opportunity to access the latest advances in care, regardless of their background or where they live. We’re proud to partner with the American Cancer Society on a broad, community-focused initiative to reach people living with cancer where they are, with urgency, and connect them to resources to receive the care they deserve.
Breast and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer diagnosed among women and men in the United States, respectively. Incidence for both cancers continues to increase nationwide, with a greater impact for certain races and ethnicities, which can be more pronounced in urban areas. In addition, people living in rural areas in the United States face barriers to accessing cancer screening and quality care, leading to higher mortality rates. Feelings of social isolation experienced by people living with breast or prostate cancer are associated with poorer outcomes, underscoring a critical need for community-centric approaches that are designed to make a tangible difference in patients’ lives by addressing their whole health needs, tackling seclusion, and providing the help they need to ensure timely access to scientific advances in care.
Our goal of ending cancer as we know it, for everyone, including medically underrepresented communities, can only be attained through strong and actionable partnerships with a shared vision like ours with Pfizer. Our collaboration will help unlock ACS’ full potential in addressing health disparities with measurable, sustainable, and systemic solutions to deliver access to high-quality care and treatments for every individual.
ACS will leverage its broad network and engage on-the-ground partners to connect individuals and promote awareness of no- and low-cost screening and access to programs and services through culturally sensitive outreach in communities disproportionately impacted by breast and prostate cancer. ACS aims to accelerate access to today’s treatments and tomorrow’s scientific advancements to “Change the Odds” to drive sustainable solutions to help ensure equitable outcomes for all patients.
Through ACS’ extensive evidence-based patient navigation programs, patients will be guided through the complexities of their cancer journey and given information to help them understand and access recommended screening, treatments, community resources, and emotional support. ACS will also work to empower patients and healthcare providers in several medically underrepresented communities with information about clinical trials and address potential barriers to trial participation. Additionally, ACS will work alongside its vast network of Health Equity Ambassadors to deliver trusted cancer prevention and early detection resources and information to each community.
For more information on “Change the Odds: Uniting to Improve Cancer Outcomes” read this Q&A between Chris Boshoff, Chief Oncology Officer and Executive Vice President, Pfizer, and Dr. Karen Knudsen, Chief Executive Officer, ACS, and visit pfizer.com/news/articles/together_we_can_change_the_odds_for_people_with_cancer.