Closing the Cancer Care Gap – Research Highlights from PLOS ONE

Celebrate world cancer day 2022, we’re highlighting some of our favorite articles on this year’s theme, ‘Closing the Care Gap’. Our call for papers on Cancer and social inequalities also highlights this topic and is open for submission until February 22n/a.

Gaps in cancer care can result from reduced availability, affordability and access to health services, including screening. These issues are particularly felt in low-resource settings in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but can also be affected within countries by social factors such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, disability, etc Recent social movements and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought issues of social inequality in health care to the fore.

Research Highlights

What follows PLOS ONE the articles all describe research on this topic, either identifying and highlighting gaps in cancer care or evaluating solutions to close gaps in care and promote more equitable outcomes.

Rhoda Baer, ​​National Cancer Institute

Powell and his colleagues to estimate the impact of the Affordable Care Act on colorectal cancer outcomes and racial disparities in North Carolina (NC), a state that has not expanded Medicaid. The study uses individual simulation models to explore population-level impacts of policy interventions.

A map of Brazil illustrating the spatial distribution of adjusted breast cancer mortality rates

In this ecological study, de Oliveira and his colleagues analyze the spatial distribution of advanced stage diagnosis and mortality of breast cancer, and its correlation with socio-economic indicators and the availability of health services

Ultra-low dose computed tomography image of a pleural nodule

Sayani and her colleagues explore barriers and facilitators to lung cancer screening among low-income people living in Toronto. Using qualitative methods, researchers identified and analyzed three themes: pathways of disadvantage, lung cancer risk and early detection, and safe care spaces.

Hands wash in sink
slavoljubovski, Pixabay

The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care has been significant. In this document, Edge and his colleagues explore the perspectives of patients, carers and healthcare workers on the disruption and reorganization of cancer services in Australia since the onset of COVID-19.

A cell phone next to a stethoscope
StockSnap, Pixabay

In this study protocol, Baleydier and his colleagues test a smartphone application intended to improve access to cervical cancer screening in Cameroon. The app uses computer-assisted detection techniques to improve objectivity in the triage of HPV-positive women. This is offered as a low-cost screening tool suitable for LMICs.

Submit your search

We are very happy to curate a collection of items for PLOS ONE on the theme of Cancer and social inequalitiesand we are still accepting submissions to this call.

We aim to highlight the negative impacts of social inequalities on health, identify the effects of social and corporate policies on access to health services, and propose solutions to promote more equitable cancer outcomes. and, ultimately, social justice. We are also interested in data exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care.

Our guest editors Prof. Vesna Zadnik (Institute of Oncology, Ljubljana, Slovenia), Dr Nixon Niyonzima (Uganda Cancer Institute, Kampala, Uganda) and Prof. Claudia Allemani (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK) shares her thoughts on the importance of this topic and her motivations for conducting research in this area in a recent interview.

We welcome submissions to the call for papers reporting research in epidemiology, public health, clinical trials, implementation science, and health economics, including manuscripts reporting systematic reviews, qualitative studies, and protocols for research.

Submit your papers here before February 22n/a 2022.

The references

Baleydier I, Vassilakos P, Viñals R, Wisniak A, Kenfack B, Tsuala Fouogue J, et al. (2021) Study protocol for a two-site clinical trial to validate a smartphone-based artificial intelligence classifier identifying precancer and cervical cancer in HPV-positive women in Cameroon. PLoS A 16(12): e0260776.

Edge R, Meyers J, Tiernan G, Li Z, Schiavuzzi A, Chan P, et al. (2021) Disruption and reorganization of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: A patient, caregiver and healthcare worker perspective. PLoS A 16(9): e0257420.

Oliveira NPDd, Cancela MdC, Martins LFL, de Souza DLB (2021) Spatial distribution of advanced stage diagnosis and breast cancer mortality: socioeconomic and health service supply inequalities in Brazil. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0246333.

W Powell, L Frerichs, R Townsley, M Mayorga, J Richmond, G Corbie-Smith, et al. (2020) The potential impact of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion on reducing colorectal cancer screening disparities among African American men. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0226942. .

Sayani A, Vahabi M, O’Brien MA, Liu G, Hwang S, Selby P, et al. (2021) Advancing Health Equity in Cancer Care: Lived Experiences of Poverty and Access to Lung Cancer Screening. PLoS ONE 16(5): e0251264.

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