Currently, white males dominate the US health care system. However, all hope for improving the cancer disparities among African American women should be not lost because of that fact. Persons of any race can provide culturally competent care. Cultural competence means that a person is aware of their culture and is accepting of other cultures. Cultural competence is not a cultural invasion, by which the provider only sees health care through the lenses of their culture. Culturally competent health care providers understand the needs of all of their patients regardless of race, gender, class, or sexuality. Although many federal and state government agencies and hospitals mandate cultural competency training, such training programs have not proven to be extremely successful at improving cultural sensitivity. A longer-lasting means of creating a culturally competent health care workforce would be to infuse cultural competency in the education curriculum for all people who provide health services.
Furthermore, because health disparities are the result of an interaction between structural factors (social, neighborhood, and environment), institutional factors (access, policies, racial bias), and individual factors (personal, behavior), there need to be interdisciplinary collaborations . Interdisciplinary collaborations will allow for the improvement of all factors that impact the cancer outcomes of African American women.
Due to the lack of African American women in positions of power within the US health care system, systemwide actions need to be taken to ensure that provider prejudice is eliminated. Cancer health equity is possible. However, cancer health equity can only be achieved when culturally competent health care is provided consistently, and all the factors that lead to cancer disparities are adequately addressed.