What Are Social Determinants of Health and How Do They Affect People With Cancer?

July 22, 2021
Brielle Gregory Collins, ASCO staff

When a person has cancer, there are factors not related to the disease that can impact their care and survival. These factors include where a person with cancer lives and whether they have access to food and health care, among others. These factors are called “social determinants of health.”

In this podcast, Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, describes the social determinants of health that can impact people with cancer and how addressing these social determinants of health can help improve cancer outcomes.

  • How would you define a social determinant of health? [1:55]

  • What are some ways financial challenges can impact someone with cancer? [2:35]

  • How does where a person lives affect their access to cancer care? [5:22]

  • How is a person’s community different from their neighborhood? [7:27]

  • How can community affect a person with cancer? [8:54]

  • How can a person’s access to education influence their cancer experience? [11:15]

  • How do access to food and a lack of access to good nutrition impact someone with cancer? [14:22]

  • What are some of the challenges health care systems can create for people with cancer? [17:35]

  • How can addressing social determinants of health improve cancer outcomes? [22:33]

  • Where can people with cancer find resources to help them cope with the challenges of social determinants of health? [25:23]

Dr. Winkfield is a board-certified radiation oncologist and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She is also the executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and the Cancer.Net Associate Editor for Radiation Oncology and Health Equity. View Dr. Winkfield’s disclosures.

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