Disparities in Health Care Leave Women Of Color Behind

Cancer

you might think health care providers should be accountable for providing the same high-quality care to all breast cancer patients, regardless of race, age, or income.

That’s not the way the system works right now.

According to the American Cancer Society, diagnosis and treatment of women of color and of low-income populations are substantially different from diagnosis and treatment of white and higher-income women1.

Diagnosis and treatment of women of color and of low-income populations are substantially different from diagnosis and treatment of white and higher-income women.
Diagnosis and treatment of women of color and of low-income populations are substantially different from diagnosis and treatment of white and higher-income women.

“The overall breast cancer incidence among Black and Latino populations has continued to grow even while breast cancer mortality rates have declined in some populations,” Dana Farber Cancer Institute reports. “Studies have shown a disproportionate number of Black women in the U.S. continue to receive late-stage breast cancer diagnoses, a point where treatment options become limited and expensive and survival rate is poor. To date, breast cancer mortality is about 40 percent higher for Black women in the U.S. than white women, despite the many advances and improvements in screenings and breast cancer treatment and care.”

Factors including health insurance status, race, income, and educational background are directly linked to unacceptable discrepancies in screening and treatment. Scientific studies indicate African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women, delays in receiving care are greater for African-American and Latina women, and both are also more likely than white women to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage of breast cancer, regardless of insurance status.

African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women.
African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women.

The Eliminating Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment Act of 2013 (H.R. 3295) would standardized health care practices for breast cancer treatment specifically to level the playing field.

African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women.
African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women.

If H.R. 3295 is enacted, Medicare providers will be required to submit data that accounts for the quality of breast cancer treatments furnished to all patients of the provider, regardless of the type of health insurance coverage of the patient. Moreover, required public reports will allow comparison of a provider’s quality of care by race, educational level, income, and insurance status.

African-American women are less likely to receive standard therapy than white women.
Help us fight for equality in breast cancer treatment.

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