Dr. Mesa on Determinants of Disparities in Cancer Care


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Ruben A. Mesa, MD, discusses various determinants of disparities in cancer care.

Ruben A. Mesa, MD, executive director, Mays Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses various determinants of disparities in cancer care.

Disparities in cancer care can manifest in multiple ways in areas that include social determinants of health, poverty, access to care, preconceived biases among health-care providers, and race and ethnicity, Mesa explains. 

These disparities can affect the treatment of cancer, along with prevention and detection, Mesa notes. Factors such as smoking, obesity, and exposure to harmful substances can all increase the risk of cancer in different populations, Mesa continues.

Moreover, genetic factors can also play a role in disparities in cancer. For example, rates of multiple myeloma can be overrepresented in Black patients, Mesa concludes.

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