Embracing our Community
Embracing Our Community

Fighting Cancer in any Culture

Cedars-Sinai is tackling health disparities by meeting with people in their communities.

Los Angeles is home to one of the most diverse populations in the country, including traditionally underserved groups that experience higher rates of cancer, chronic illness and death. A lack of financial resources, health insurance, information and transportation—as well as culturally ingrained reticence to openly discuss serious health issues—can take a heavy toll. The Cancer Research Center for Health Equity, at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Care Institute, is tackling the problem in Southern California communities, neighborhood clinics and in its own laboratories. The team analyzes environmental, cultural and genetic factors to understand disparities in cancer rates and promote prevention and early detection through tailored outreach in a number of languages.

South L.A. Lung Cancer Coalition

In Los Angeles County, African Americans experience the highest rate of delayed diagnosis for—and, subsequently, death from—lung cancer, in part because many healthcare plans don’t cover lung cancer screening. In collaboration with University of Southern California, the center has assembled a group of about 15 local organizations, including the Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers, to advocate for lung cancer screenings and smoking-cessation programs. The center hopes the community support will help in its fight to change healthcare policy at the state level.

LGBTQI Outreach

The LGBTQI population is disproportionately affected by human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers of the head, neck and anus. The center partnered with Cedars-Sinai physicians to provide HPV-prevention outreach at eight LGBTQI Pride events this spring and summer, including the San Fernando Valley Pride festival.

Health and Faith Initiative

Health educators partner with Latino, Korean and Filipino churches to develop and deliver talks about population-specific cancer risk and prevention, and connect people with community health clinics for screenings. Researchers pair with community health workers to better understand the barriers to screenings and treatments in order to develop the most effective strategies to motivate people to seek preventive care.

Faith-Based Organizations
  • L.A. Onnuri Community Church
  • Oriental Mission Church
  • Precious Blood Church
  • St. Kevin Catholic Church 
  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
Community Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Clínica Romero 
  • Kheir Clinic
  • Koryo Health Foundation

In 2016 4 in 10 people living in the U.S. were people of color.

By 2050 people of color will make up more than half of the population.

Breast cancer rates for Korean American women increased by 4.7% each year between 1990 and 2005

Anal cancer among the gay, bisexual and transgender population is estimated to be 20x higher than the general population

By 2030 Latino men are forecast to have the highest rate of liver cancer and Latino women the second highest

Filipino American men have poorer five-year survival rates after colorectal cancer than any other group