What do acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients need to know about care disparities? Dr. Catherine Lai from Penn Medicine discusses ethnic disparities and other factors. Learn about factors in AML care disparities and some available resources for patients to elevate their care.
[ACT]IVATION TIP from Dr. Lai: “Speak with your social worker, is there a resource that I can tap into that can help me with my care so that I can make sure that I can get the best access?”
Dr. Lai, how can we address disparities in AML among diverse populations?
Dr. Catherine Lai:
So this is an extremely important topic. And there was a large study that was recently published out of Chicago that looked at the different hospitals in the area and to look at ethnic disparities between white and Black populations and did find significant differences. Unfortunately, I would say that there are many factors that go into this, and a large portion of it is education and resources, and so what I would say is that we…we need to, as physicians and also the community, be better about educating our patients and being able to have access to resources so that everybody can get the same treatment.
And so involving other societies who support cancer to just get the word out that we need to…that we need to be aware of the differences so that we can address them specifically and make sure that for patients who don’t have resources that we are able to provide for them. So the activation tip here is that asking about resources, but we use a lot of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grants that help our patients get access to and lower the cost of drugs, but also will…they will also provide grants just to help with cost of living, occasionally, there are other societies that can help with ride shares, and so I think even if you don’t know the specific…the specific society that can help, just asking to speak with your social worker, is there a resource that I can tap into that can help her help me with my care so that I can make sure that I can get the best access?