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Dr. Gwede

Meet Clement Gwede, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Researcher, Health Outcomes and Behavior Program

"Moffitt's mission, to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer, is really what gives me passion."

More than 50 years after the words were first spoken, Dr. Clement Gwede still recites Dr. King’s quote as a source of inspiration for his research.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1966

As a senior researcher in the Health Outcomes and Behavior Program, Dr. Gwede is dedicated to understanding why disparities in cancer exist and consequently how to develop solutions to address them.

“We’ve known for many decades that some groups experience a greater burden of cancer than others,” explains Dr. Gwede.

Many of the statistics are alarming: Black men are two and a half times more likely to die from prostate cancer when compared to other races. Black men and women are about 10 percent more likely to develop colon cancer, and about 40 percent more likely to die from colon cancer, especially black males.

“No one should have to die from colon cancer,” stresses Dr. Gwede.

The key, says Dr. Gwede, is reinforcing screening for men and women between the ages of 50 and 75.

But what happens when you factor in why someone - for various reasons such as cost - doesn’t get a colonoscopy?

Dr. Gwede has discovered one way of circumventing those barriers is the fecal immunochemical test (FIT), a simple home stool screening test for colon cancer. An effort to get the FIT tests into clinics serving uninsured or underinsured patients in the community has been a long-term effort by Dr. Gwede and his team.

It’s especially rewarding for Dr. Gwede to see patients accept the FIT kits as an option that is affordable and accessible.

“Healthcare should be a right. When you can reach an individual who's in a desperate situation about their healthcare, you really do feel that you're doing work that is meaningful.”