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American Cancer Society Discussion

Question Description

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is an organization that is impassioned about combating cancer through research. Newly diagnosed patients are given unparalleled support systems and information on everything one needs to know inclusive cancer types, treatment options preventative measures and screening guidelines to help live a cancer free life. The information they disseminate ranges from specific carcinogens in the environment down to the foods that we can eat to prevent cancer (Nekhlyudov et al., 2017). This is all useful information when a cancer patient is learning how to best fight cancer as well as for the unstricken population who wants to remain healthy. ACS website is an invaluable tool for information, not just the initial diagnosis, it may also be used throughout a cancer patient’s journey. ACS helps along the continuum of a patient’s cancer journey and offers life advice. They can offer suggestions as well as tips on how to communicate with your family regarding your cancer. It is an excellent resource that can be used to find support groups in your area.

Incidence and mortality rates are completely dependent on the type of cancer one is dealing with but cancer usually develops in older people; 87% of all cancers in the United States are diagnosed in people 50 years of age or older. It is paramount to be aware that certain behaviors also increase risk, such as smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, or not being physically active (Sharpe, Shaw & Battaglia, 2016). There are current policies in place that are important to reduce incidence and mortality and may actually reduce these figures over time. Currently, the important policies are as follows: Coverage of preventive services and vaccines. These services include cancer screenings, tobacco cessation treatment, weight loss interventions to reduce obesity and a vaccine that prevents cervical and other cancers. The recognition of prevention in healthcare has made it so cost sharing is no longer required for preventive services for many health insurance providers (including Medicaid/Medicare beneficiaries). Each Medicaid/Medicare and privately insured person is eligible for a free annual wellness visit. Tobacco cessation coverage is a benefit offered by many health insurance programs, all insurance companies are required to cover a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit with no cost sharing for pregnant women and are also required to cover tobacco cessation medications for all adults.

Among the research programs funded by the American Cancer Society, I have chosen the health disparity research program. Cancer affects each population differently and the brunt of the burden is disproportionately carried by minorities. Much of this difference is influenced by factors like poverty, lack of access to prevention/detection services as well as to high-quality treatment (American Cancer Society, n.d.). Cancer disparities (sometimes called cancer health disparities) are differences in cancer measures such as: incidence (new cases), prevalence (all existing cases), mortality (deaths), morbidity (cancer-related health complications), survivorship, including quality of life after cancer treatment, burden of cancer or related health conditions, screening rates and stage at diagnosis. It is well-known that cancer disparities can also be seen when outcomes are improving overall but the improvements are delayed in some groups relative to other groups. I believe it is imperative to even the playing field when dealing with this disease.

References

American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Cancer Health Disparities Research. Retrieved fromhttps://www.cancer.org/research/currently-funded-c…

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