Despite significant advancements in cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention over the past several decades, addressing cancer health disparities in certain populations is an area where progress has not kept pace. Disparities in higher cancer death rates, less frequent use of appropriate screening tests, and higher rates of advanced cancer diagnoses among low-socioeconomic groups, certain racial/ethnic populations, and those who live in geographically isolated areas remain a significant challenge across the country, and particularly within Memphis and its surrounding markets.

Collaboration for Community Care

  • Community Outreach: Through collaboration with Methodist Healthcare’s Congregational Health Network (CHN), West Cancer Center is establishing partnerships among the most impoverished and underinsured zip codes in Memphis – providing opportunities to distribute appropriate information and access regarding early detection and screening.
  • Care Support and Patient Navigation: West Cancer Center’s Care Support program offers individualized assistance to patients, families and caregivers to help overcome healthcare system barriers and facilitate timely access to quality medical and supportive care. Our Care Support team helps patients maneuver through the complex system of oncology care to ensure they fully understand their treatment and care process.
  • Patient Care Monitors: The Patient Care Monitor is a web-based technology platform that collects data from patients at the point of care and/or remotely between visits. This data can be used to not only develop a further understanding of certain population side effects and responses to treatment, but also to optimize the patient experience and improve the quality of care.
  • Clinical Diversity: Researchers and physicians at West Cancer Center are investigating the barrier to clinical trial participation among minorities. By increasing the diversity of patients participating in clinical trials, we can ensure that trial findings are applicable to a broader patient population.

Population Science

By approaching these racial disparities through research, we can develop more effective and programmatic solutions that address the root cause of these disparities – providing us the answer to why these disparities exist in the first place. This research comes in many forms. Whether translational or basic laboratory research, collecting data via our Patient Care Monitor and establishing positive correlation based on socioeconomic factors, or discovering the barriers for clinical trial participation among minorities, West Cancer Center is leading efforts in the community to reduce these racial disparities in cancer outcomes and to develop a seamless continuum of education, prevention and treatment for the underserved and underinsured.