Analysis of Breast Cancer Treatment Reveals Inequality

A recent study of 581 breast cancer patients has revealed inequalities correlated with race and health insurance coverage.

According to the research, black women have to wait longer for breast cancer treatment and diagnosis, regardless of their health insurance coverage.  White women with no insurance coverage also waited significantly longer.

The findings come from George Washington University Cancer Institute.  Patients were treated at 7 hospitals and clinics between 1997 and 2009.

Highlights

  • To get a definitive diagnosis, insured black patients and uninsured white patients had to wait over twice as long as insured white patients.
  • Contrary to the researcher’s expectations, insurance coverage did not even the field between racial groups. Having health insurance coverage did not mean a quicker diagnosis in black women.
  • After diagnosis, black patients had to wait twice as long as white patients to begin breast cancer treatment.

Read more about this study on womenshealth.gov
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