Mesothelioma is just one form of cancer in which racial inequities can impact the availability of top-of-the-line treatment. Racial, geographic, and socioeconomic disparities in telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic was a focus of concern at last week’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, as well as of a separate report on clinical trials published by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Many Mesothelioma Patients Took Advantage of Telemedicine During Global Pandemic
The global pandemic made attending in-person medical appointments a significant concern for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and other forms of cancer, but the availability of telemedicine eased many of those concerns. Unfortunately, according to a study presented to ASCO attendees by Jenny Guadamuz, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and colleagues, black patients were less likely than white patients to use these services.
Advocates for mesothelioma patients are concerned about this lack of access, which also held true for cancer patients without documented insurance as compared to those with commercial or government-funded health insurance, for those in rural or suburban areas as compared to those from urban areas, and for those living in less affluent areas as compared to those living in more affluent areas.
Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Must Offer Equal Access
Mesothelioma patient advocates are also concerned by the Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022 published by the American Association for Cancer Research. The report showed that despite advances in care, more effective treatments are not as readily available to ethnic and racial minorities and other medically underserved patients. The same holds true for participation in clinical trials for cancer therapies. The report urged researchers to broaden community outreach and for medical research stakeholders to work together in order to achieve greater equities.
If you or someone you love is in need of top-of-the-line mesothelioma care, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help connect you with the resources you need. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet