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Ruben A. Mesa, MD, discusses the importance of community engagement to facilitate optimal care in oncology.
Ruben A. Mesa, MD, executive director, Mays Cancer Center, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of community engagement to facilitate optimal care in oncology.
Engagement with different groups, from churches to key health care organizations, is important to diversify the patient populations being accrued to clinical trials in oncology, Mesa says. Moreover, extensive primary care efforts for the underserved populations are critical, as it is known that a critical step in treating cancer is identifying it, Mesa explains. This can include identification through screening or educating the public on the early signs of cancer to facilitate timely care, Mesa adds.
Overall, community engagement can help to prevent cancer through screening efforts and the delivery of cancer care by partnerships with other organizations or groups, Mesa continues. Additionally, it is important to provide resources that are accessible to underserved patient populations, Mesa adds. Improving care requires a multifaceted approach to optimize care for patients with cancer, Mesa concludes.