Funded by the 2022 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer
Cancer care can be tough to navigate. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center (AHWFBCCC) wants to make sure all patients can access the best cancer care as easily as possible. Sometimes the best treatment outcomes are achieved by joining cancer research studies. To be sure treatments studied in cancer research are reliable and consistent for all patients, it is important that all groups are represented. African Americans have the highest percentage of new cancer cases in the U.S. and the worst outcomes, yet are less likely to be represented in research. Due to language and cultural barriers, Hispanic patients also have low research participation rates. Adolescents and Young Adults have the lowest research participation rate of any age group. It can also be harder for patients who live outside of the city to get cancer treatment because of where they live. To help ensure all groups are included in studies, AHWFBCCC created a population health navigator (PHN) program to help community members learn about cancer, how to prevent it, what screening is required, and what treatments are available. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, the PHN can help to remove barriers to care and help patients learn about the benefits of cancer research. With PHNs, AHWFBCCC hopes to increase research participation so that all can be represented.