Addressing cancer disparities in Canada
April is Diversity Month dedicated to celebrating and honouring all individuals that make up our community. From a health care perspective, acknowledging diversity is to address race/ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, income, education, and geographic location as important factors that contribute to a person’s ability to achieve good health.
Cancer affects all population groups, but certain groups are more likely to develop it and experience worse outcomes. These differences are known as cancer disparities, and refer to the differences in:
• Incidence (new cases)
• Prevalence (all existing cases)
• Mortality (deaths)
• Survival (how long someone survives after their diagnosis)
• Screening rates
• Survivorship (including quality of life after cancer treatment)
For example, aboriginal peoples in Canada experience higher rates of cancer and lack equal access to cancer screening services compared to non-aboriginal populations,. With greater consideration dedicated to understanding racial and ethnic disparities in the incidence and outcomes of cancer, we hope that this important public health priority receives the attention it deserves. Continuing to advocate for early detection through screening and prevention and ensuring that all patients receive the right treatment at the right time remains our commitment at Colorectal Cancer Canada.
 Assembly of First Nations (afn) Access to Cancer Screening and First Nations. Ottawa, ON: AFN; 2009. [Available online at: http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/220.127.116.11/ContentPages/2467254705.pdf
 Disparity in cancer prevention and screening in aboriginal populations: recommendations for action https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4687663/