Divergent Paths: A Health Equity Story

Access to quality healthcare is not a privilege, but a right. The American Cancer Society is dedicated to advancing health equity. In order to change the narrative around cancer disparities, we must all commit to listening, learning, and continuing the conversation.

“Meet Jenny and MaryAnn — childhood friends, both with breast cancer, but with very different experiences.”

Many structural and social factors can impact a person’s ability to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. These include such examples as racial residential segregation, poverty, lack of access to healthy and affordable foods, or inadequate pay, housing, or access to transportation. It’s important to understand that personal responsibility and making healthy choices is only one part of someone’s overall health.


ACS and ACS CAN are re‐examining and deepening our efforts to address health equity through our research, programs, services, and advocacy. Most importantly, if we are to reduce cancer disparities, we need to listen to the experiences and perspectives of people with cancer, their caregivers, and their communities, and engage them in the fight against cancer every step of the way.

After viewing the film, we encourage you to reflect on what you observed and then connect with friends, family, and co-workers. Think about how you can apply a health equity lens in your daily work, decision-making, and interactions with others. It will take all of us working together to change the narrative for survivors like MaryAnn. Hear her story, continue the conversation with our Discussion Guide at, and learn how you can join the fight to advance health equity.


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