Recent research papers are stressing the relevance of SES in cancer care; that is the primary role of education and income in accessing the best available cure. Some papers note the influence of unemployment and the global economic crisis (associated with increased unemployment) on cancer mortality (unemployment increases are associated with rises in cancer mortality). A British study estimated that the 2008–10 economic crisis was associated with about 260 000 excess cancer-related deaths in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development alone (link: http://bit.ly/1sAeFEr). Moreover, patients’ income seems to be correlated to cancer clinical trial participation (link: http://bit.ly/1ttJCut).
At the same time health literacy seems to be linked with cancer screening (link: http://bit.ly/1SBU2hx). Communication remains a critical issue in cancer care and is discussed in the May 2016 edition of JAMA Oncology (http://bit.ly/1UXYibo).
In the next few months Psycho-oncology is going to publish a special issue on Equality and Diversity including factors such as sociodemographic inequalities in cancer care (link: http://bit.ly/1sIgL5u). The proposal for the Special Issue was supported by the British Psychosocial Oncology Society and the global response in terms of papers received was exceptional with 47 papers submitted for consideration. While not all could be included, it demonstrates that the psycho-oncology community has a buoyant research agenda focussing on these important factors affecting the care of patients and their families.