Why is this important?
- “In Canada, our population is more diverse than ever. Sadly, the way we collect health care data doesn’t reflect that reality,” says Onye Nnorom, the Black Health Theme Lead at the Faculty of Medicine’s MD program and lead author of the paper.
- “Our current practices are hurting Black Canadians because there is little to no health-care data or research that is specific to race or ethnicity,” she adds.
- “Although this scoping review was focused on breast and cervical cancer in the Black Canadian population, the bigger issue is the fact that, in Canada, so much is unknown when it comes to health disparities faced by minority groups, whether due to race/racism, ethnicity, or culture,” says the paper.
What needs to be done?
- The results suggest more data needs to be gathered in the health-care system about race and ethnicity. When it comes to screening rates for cervical or breast cancer, better data could help identify differences between Black Canadian women and other Canadians. It could also identify differences among Black Canadians.
- “It’s time for our system to change, and for Canadian health-care data and research to start reflecting the needs of the people who live here.”
Resources for Screening
Pap Test Information
- Pap test brochure – Take a Closer Look
- Cervical Cancer Screening – What your abnormal Pap test means
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Information adapted from:
University of Toronto News (2019). Lack of health data hurting Black Canadian women, UofT researchers find.
Meharry Medical College. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 30 (2019) 1331-1359.
Cancer Care Ontario: Screening for Cervical Cancer – Cancer Care Ontario