National Cancer Institute
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Health Services & Economics Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences
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Health Disparities


Documenting the extent and understanding the causes of disparities in accessing and receiving cancer-related health services is a major cross-cutting research theme supported by the Health Services and Economics Branch (HSEB). We study health disparities by race/ethnicity and the socioeconomic status of individuals and by the socioeconomic characteristics of the community environment.

Studies & Initiatives

Tools & Data Sources

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) cancer control items, co-supported by NCI, collect detailed information on the use of cancer screening services by racial/ethnic groups not well covered by other surveys, including Hispanics, Asians, Pacific-Islanders, and African-Americans.

The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc), which is supported by the Applied Research Program and the Surveillance Research Program within NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, is statistical software designed to generate multiple summary measures to evaluate and monitor health disparities. HD*Calc allows the user to import SEER data or other population-based health data and calculate any of eleven disparity measurements.

Workshops & Conferences

In September 2008, a workshop entitled Methodological and Conceptual Issues in Conducting Research on Racial/Ethnic Discrimination in Healthcare Delivery External Web Site Policy, sponsored by several institutes of the National Institutes of Health, was held in Bethesda, MD.

In February 2011, a conference entitled The Science of Research on Discrimination and Health, sponsored by the NCI, was held in Bethesda, MD. The agenda for the conference and an archived videocast are available. A related journal supplement was published in May 2012.


A supplement (May 2012) to the American Journal of Public Health aims to highlight the need for and state of empirical research on racial/ethnic discrimination and its association with the health and health care received by racial/ethnic minority populations.

Publications: Health Disparities includes articles on studies that have examined cancer-related health disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

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Last modified:
28 Jan 2013
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