Giving Compass' Take:

· Diane Mapes at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center explains that understanding cancer health disparities begins by addressing the many factors leading to inequities in health care.

· What can be done to reduce disparities in cancer health care? What about other medical fields? What factors contribute to inequities in health care? 

· Read about steps to ensure access to cancer care and treatment

Why do some cancer patients live and others die? Sometimes, yes, it’s the cancer itself. But other times it has more to do with whether the patient is insured, or speaks English or trusts the person in the white coat who’s telling them they need treatment.

Researchers have long known that inequities in health care can make the difference between life and death for many patients. So why do health disparities continue to exist and what can we do about them?

Dr. Beti Thompson and a quartet of community health advocates addressed these questions Friday at the Science of Community Equity Symposium at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, sharing findings on health disparities causes and countermeasures with researchers, doctors and patients.

Thompson has spent the past 30 years as a public health researcher at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington working on behalf of the medically underserved through the Health Disparities Research Center, or HDRC, and its many community outreach projects.

Read the full article about cancer health disparities by Diane Mapes at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.