Equity-oriented healthcare: What it is and why we need it in oncology




Horrill, Tara C.
Browne, Annette J.
Stajduhar, Kelli I.

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Current Oncology


Alarming differences exist in cancer outcomes for people most impacted by persistent and widening health and social inequities. People who are socially disadvantaged often have higher cancer-related mortality and are diagnosed with advanced cancers more often than other people. Such outcomes are linked to the compounding effects of stigma, discrimination, and other barriers, which create persistent inequities in access to care at all points in the cancer trajectory, preventing timely diagnosis and treatment, and further widening the health equity gap. In this commentary, we discuss how growing evidence suggests that people who are considered marginalized are not well-served by the cancer care sector and how the design and structure of services can often impose profound barriers to populations considered socially disadvantaged. We highlight equity-oriented healthcare as one strategy that can begin to address inequities in health outcomes and access to care by taking action to transform organizational cultures and approaches to the design and delivery of cancer services.



health equity, healthcare accessibility, health services, cultural safety, cancer


Horill, T., Browne, A., Stajduhar, K. (2022). “Equity-oriented healthcare: What it is and why we need it in oncology.” Current Oncology, 29(1), 186-192. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29010018