Thank you for joining us in 2022!

Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Cancer Care

November 12, 2022, 1:02 pm -
1:50 pm
Understanding barriers to better research and treatments

Session Description

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most difficult challenges a person and their family can face in life. Unfortunately, this challenge is even greater for some communities with various barriers—limited health care access, fewer cancer screenings, diagnosis at later stages, fewer treatment options offered—preventing them from getting the best care possible. Patient advocates from the African American, Latino, and Native American communities join us for a discussion of racial disparities in cancer care, self-advocacy, and building a support network. They will discuss social determinants of health, limited resources (financial and otherwise), and difficult relationships with health care teams. Moreover, they will discuss finding organizations and resources for knowledge and support, seeking out a second opinion, finding a clinical trial, and ensuring that your voice is heard. Together, they believe in empowerment through education and that you can control your cancer journey.


Stephen Estrada

Long-term Survivor of Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer

When Stephen was diagnosed with both Lynch Syndrome and metastatic colorectal cancer at the age of 28, he was given a year to live. Chemotherapy and multiple surgeries proved to be ineffective at slowing his cancer and he quickly realized that in order to survive, he would have to think out of the box. His care-team at the University of Colorado Hospital recommended a phase 1 immunotherapy clinical trial which he quickly enrolled in. Now, 8 years later, Stephen remains cancer-free and has been deemed ‘cured’. Stephen has worked as Manager of Community Engagement for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance were he specialized in community organizing, patient education, and helping others share heir stories. Stephen is honored to once again team up with the Cancer Research Institute as an advocate and patient-voice representative.

LaToya Bolds-Johnson, PA-C, CAQ-EM

Breast Cancer Advocate & Thriver

LaToya Bolds-Johnson is a resilient woman born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a licensed and board-certified physician associate with a specialty certification in emergency medicine. She has been practicing medicine for a decade with a wealth of clinical experience. She holds medical licenses to practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Texas. LaToya is a proud graduate of two Historically Black Universities where she obtained her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She also continued to obtain her graduate degree in Physician Associate Studies at Howard University in Washington, DC. She is now a doctoral candidate at A.T. Still University working towards earning a Doctorate of BioMedical Sciences Degree.

Ana I. Velázquez Mañana, MD MSc

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Ana Velázquez Mañana, MD, MSc, is a thoracic oncologist at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Hematology/Oncology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General. She serves as Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for Trainees of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research portfolio is focused on health services and cancer disparities research to evaluate unmet social psychosocial needs of patients with lung cancer from vulnerable backgrounds.


Joseph E. Ravenell, MD

Perlmutter Cancer Center NYU Langone Health

Joseph Ravenell, MD is Associate Professor of Population Health and Medicine with Tenure, and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. He is a primary care physician and health equity research scientist Dr. Ravenell has led multiple federally- funded trials to test community-based strategies to improve colon cancer screening and cardiovascular disease prevention among Black men throughout New York City and beyond.  This work has engaged a community-based research network of over 200 community-based sites including churches, barbershops, mosques and social service agencies, reaching over 20,000 New Yorkers. Dr. Ravenell’s community-engaged work was the subject of an invited TED talk which has received over 1 million views. Dr. Ravenell continually cultivates a holistic approach to promoting health equity through research, scholarship and mentorship.