Access to care for cancer disparity populations, such as the elderly and racial/ethnic groups, is improving when it comes to treating their primary cancer. But, when it comes to follow-up care or prevention of secondary cancers, these and other patients continue to fall through the cracks. “Cancer survivors do not always receive screenings at recommended intervals nor comprehensive chronic disease management.” That is why medical sociologist Shawna Hudson, Ph.D., is trying to find ways to make these patients more aware of the need to stay in touch with their physicians and have regularly scheduled tests to check whether their cancer has returned.
Hudson is Associate Director for Research for the Division of Family Medicine and Community Health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in Somerset, New Jersey. Her research focuses on disparities in cancer treatment and screenings in primary care settings, as well as organizational factors in primary care practices that facilitate increased use of evidence-based guidelines.