PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The inequities in health we're seeing with COVID-19 have been affecting cancer care for years. This week, the American Association for Cancer Research released its disparities progress report.
There has been a lot of progress in cancer care, but this report shows that progress and the research hasn't benefited everyone equally.
African Americans have had the highest overall cancer death rate for more than four decades, although the rate is coming down. In 1990, the death rate for African Americans was 33%higher than whites. In 2016, it was 14% higher.
Today, Hispanic Americans have the lowest screening rate for colorectal cancer, which is one of the most common and deadly cancers if it's not caught early.
The American Association for Cancer Research's report brings awareness and also pushes for more funding and to make sure minorities are included in clinical trials.
Gary Steele says clinical trials helped him beat prostate cancer and now manage multiple myeloma. He says a good friend helped pave the way for a new treatment by enrolling in a trial years earlier.
"In my mind it was because of her and folks like her who went into clinical trials that my treatment is now standard of care, so I thank her and many people for what they did to help me," he said.
The report also shows having equal access to healthcare would help eliminate the disparities.
To learn more, visit: https://www.aacr.org/