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Dr David Eagle: Health Equity Involves More Than Medical Care

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Close to 80% of what influences how long someone is going to live is where and how they live, and we need to pay more attention to that or we’re not paying attention to everything that affects their lives, explained David A. Eagle, MD, of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists.

Close to 80% of what influences how long someone is going to live is where and how they live, and as community oncologists, we need to pay more attention to that or we’re not paying attention to everything that affects their lives, explained David A. Eagle, MD, of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists.

Transcript

What are some of today’s most pressing issues in community oncology?

Health equity is the current issue. A lot of the challenge for oncologists is, where do we put our attention. I’m glad we’re going to put it toward health equity. We spend a lot of time focusing on the medical care of our patients—which is incredibly important—but if you want to predict how long somebody is going to live, about 80% of that is where they live and how they live and not the medical care they receive. So we need to pay more attention to that. If we don’t pay attention to that, we’re not paying attention to everything that affects their lives.

I think one thing that we need to figure out in the oncology community is how to go from a reactive model to a proactive model. We need to figure out how to screen people at the very beginning of their health care journey about what their needs are, where the gaps are, and not wait until we hear about problems.

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