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a Million Cancer Survivors declining care
due to cost concerns, Minorities especially
Newswise — More than a million cancer
survivors living in the United States are
foregoing what they believe is necessary
medical care due to the cost, and Hispanics
and African-Americans are twice as likely to
go without services, according to data
presented at the American Association for
Cancer Research conference on the Science of
Health Care Disparities.
“These survivors are either going without,
or significantly delaying, dental care,
general medical care, mental health care or
prescription drugs,” said Kathryn Weaver,
Ph.D., a cancer prevention fellow at the
National Cancer Institute.
Although insurance status did play a role,
foregoing care due to cost still persisted
among the insured.
“There are significant out-of-pocket
expenses, even for those with insurance,”
Weaver and colleagues used data from the
Center for Disease Control’s National Health
Interview Survey to identify 6,602 adult
Of these survivors, 64.3 percent were
female, 4.8 percent were Hispanic, 6.4
percent were non-Hispanic black and 88.8
percent were non-Hispanic white.
The survey is conducted annually and
questions about 30,000 to 40,000 households.
Overall, the prevalence of foregoing medical
care due to cost was 7.8 percent for general
medical care, 9.9 percent for prescription
medication, 11.3 percent for dental care and
2.7 percent for mental health care.
Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics
were 2.14-fold more likely to forego
prescription medications due to cost
concerns and African-Americans were 87
percent more likely to forego prescriptions.
For dental care, Hispanics were 2.31-fold
more likely to go without and
African-Americans were 57 percent more
These differences persisted after
statistical adjustments for education,
health insurance coverage and non-cancer
“Efforts to expand insurance coverage might
go some way toward addressing these
problems, but absent that, clinicians need
to be more aware that their patients are not
getting these services and work to try to
connect them to charity or low-cost care,”
The mission of the American Association for
Cancer Research is to prevent and cure
Founded in 1907, AACR is the world’s oldest
and largest professional organization
dedicated to advancing cancer research.
The membership includes more than 28,000
basic, translational and clinical
researchers; health care professionals; and
cancer survivors and advocates in the United
States and 80 other countries.
The AACR marshals the full spectrum of
expertise from the cancer community to
accelerate progress in the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of cancer through
high-quality scientific and educational
It funds innovative, meritorious research
The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than
17,000 participants who share the latest
discoveries and developments in the field.
Special conferences throughout the year
present novel data across a wide variety of
topics in cancer research, treatment and
The AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed
journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer
Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics;
Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer
Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
The AACR’s most recent publication and its
sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention
Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer
prevention, from preclinical research to
The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for
cancer survivors and their families, patient
advocates, physicians and scientists.
CR provides a forum for sharing essential,
evidence-based information and perspectives
on progress in cancer research, survivorship