• Tue, Jun 24 2008

Poorer Individuals Less Likely to Survive

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US researchers have acknowledged that poorer women have a greater chance of dying from breast cancer than those who are financially better off.

A study was conducted with 14,000 breast, prostate and colorectal patients — and clearly indicated that socioeconomic status affects a person’s chances of survival. Here’s a quote from a Washington Post article on the subject:

“The study found that cancer patients with low socioeconomic status had more advanced cancers at time of diagnosis, received less aggressive treatment, and had a higher risk of dying within five years of diagnosis.”

The link between race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status is well known — for instance, blacks and Hispanics are more likely to live in poorer areas of this country than whites. Now that is directly translating to cancer survival.

Pink Ribbon Readers, survival starts with screening — regular breast self-exams, mammography, visits to a medical professional. Early detection is the key to living long beyond this diagnosis.

Unfortunately, lower income individuals are less apt to implement these screening measures and are therefore suffering the consequences. But why … are they uneducated? Do they have lower quality medical care? Are they in denial?

What do you think? Why are poorer individuals screening less and dying more often?

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  • http://motivatethyself.com “Motivate Thyself”

    I think that any form of preventative medicine is less likely to be sought after by the poor. The main reason is the fact that they may see any form of doctor visit as potential for receiving a bill. Even if they know that’s not the case it might still prevent them from taking action. Also, this might sound judgmental but it’s just an observation, people in poverty often times take less care of themselves. Whether they are too busy working multiple jobs while trying to make ends meet or just irresponsible, there’s a good chance that getting a breast exam is not their top priority.

  • http://www.pinkribbonreview.com Karen Lynch

    Thank you for your comment. Ironically, the women that would benefit from reading this post and your comment probably don’t have access to the Internet — can’t picture women living in poverty with a laptop or a desktop computer (or visiting the library to use a public one). That’s a sad, but true, reality, huh?

  • http://motivatethyself.com “Motivate Thyself”

    That’s a good point. I think it’s crucial that those that are capable are willing to lend a helping hand. I say this humbly because I am rarely that person but I wish that I were. Your blogs is inspiring and well written and it makes me want to help out more in my community. Keep up the good work. I’m going to subscribe so I can keep up with your latest posts.
    By the way, my dad past away 4 years ago at the age of 55 from skin cancer. He, like myself, was a fair skinned red head. I’m 29 and trying to do my best to stay protected from the sun but I have already had things removed. So cancer, in general, is an important subject to me. Keep up the good work.

  • http://whatparentsshouldrealize.blogspot.com/2008/06/understanding-breast-cancer-and-helping.html Guardian Angel

    I found your post at Problogger and I think the title is just fine, maybe it only needs a little more attraction.

    Anyway, I used to have that pink ribbon in my sidebar and even made a post about breast cancer about 2 months ago. I am a man but I think it is just right to be concern too.

    I am glad this crusade is still on and I hope this will continue until there is in need.

    Keep it up!

  • http://myweeklybeef.com DeeLan

    I have a background in healthcare and was involved in patient education for 30 years. Studies have shown that literacy plays a big part in compliance with treatment and care. The more illiterate a person the less likely they are to understand instructions and necessity. This could also be applied to preventative medicine. They just don’t understand the importance of routine testing or the dangers of putting it off until tomorrow.

    With that said it’s understandable that education can determine your economic status and vice versa. A catch 22 if you will.

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