Methods for Measuring Cancer Disparities: Using Data Relevant to Healthy People 2010 Cancer-Related Objectives
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Healthy People 2010 has two overarching goals: to increase the span of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities across the categories of gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, geographic location, and sexual orientation (1). This report raises some conceptual issues and reviews different methodological approaches germane to measuring progress toward the goal of eliminating cancer-related health disparities (2). Despite the increased attention to social disparities in health, no clear framework exists to define and measure health disparities. This may create confusion in communicating the extent of cancer-related health disparities and hinder the ability of public health organizations to monitor progress toward the Healthy People 2010 cancer objectives.