Well Being

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?