How Social Determinants of Health Affect Your Cancer Treatment

November 7, 2019

In this episode of the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, we spoke with Kassandra Alcaraz, PhD, MPH, about a new phenomenon that's gaining traction across the healthcare universe called the social determinants of health.

Increasingly there is a new phenomenon gaining traction across the healthcare universe. It’s called the social determinants of health. While it may not be the catchiest phrase, its implications on our health are absolutely enormous. After all, some physicians argue that the social determinants of health are responsible for 80% of our overall wellbeing.

So what are the social determinants of health? Here are a few examples: They’re the neighborhood where you grew up. They’re the school you went to. They’re the depth of your personal relationships. They are whether or not you have access to clean drinking water, whether you have access to healthy food, whether you have access to parks and smog-free air. The social determinants of health are all of the social factors that impact how you feel.

For a long time, they’ve been incredibly difficult to measure, and as far as most scientists are concerned, phenomena that can't be measured can’t be improved. But now, thanks to new technologies, new approaches to care and a mounting realization that the social determinants of health are just too important to ignore, the healthcare system is starting to take them into consideration and using them to build customized treatment programs that account for your unique environment and individual history.

So what do the social determinants of health mean for you? On this week’s episode of the cure talks cancer podcast, we spoke with Kassandra Alcaraz of the American Cancer Society to find out.


x