About Health Disparities and Health Equity

The elimination of cancer-related disparities is an important goal for the National Cancer Institute. Cancer disparities are the adverse effects on populations who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on factors such as race and ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, education, disability, geographic location, and/or sexual identity.

Cancer disparities are seen in measures such as the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, survivorship and quality of life after cancer treatment, and burden of cancer or related health conditions, screening rates, and stage at diagnosis.

DCCPS’ mission for health disparities and health equity is to monitor the differential burden of cancer among Americans and promote and conduct research that identifies and addresses the historical and contemporary inequities contributing to these disparities across the cancer control continuum and throughout the human lifespan. The goal is to eliminate these disparities and achieve health equity for all people.

Staff from across the Division in each of the program areas hold expertise in various areas of health disparities and health equity research. Coordination and collaboration efforts are often led by the Office of the Director in partnership with these program areas.

Infographic displaying DCCPS Health Disparities and Health Equities Research Areas - five areas include longitudinal cohort studies, 'omics research, epidemiological studies, health care delivery research, and social and behavioral intervention research


  • Promote and conduct research that identifies and addresses the structural, social, economic, cultural, psychological, behavioral, and biological mechanisms contributing to health disparities across the cancer control continuum.
  • Understand the causes of disparities in cancer, and develop and implement effective interventions that address them in an effort to achieve health equity.


  • Eliminate health disparities through effective interventions.
  • Ensure health equity by improving health for all people and eliminating avoidable inequities in health.
Last Updated
September 02, 2021