The Socioeconomics of Cancer
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jul 14, 2014 in Medical Malpractice
Almost all of us have experienced the devastating effects of cancer at some point in our lives. Whether we have struggled with it personally or someone we love has developed a form of it, cancer seems to be a mortal equalizer in the United States and abroad.
Over the years, countless studies have been conducted in an attempt to understand why cancers strike certain groups of people. A recent survey published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer revealed interesting insight into the socioeconomics of cancer in the U.S.
The May 2014 study examined the range of cancers affecting the population at differing socioeconomic levels. Because wealth and other socioeconomic factors are not usually disclosed within a patients medical information, researchers considered the poverty level of the patients neighborhood. High-poverty areas were compared with low-poverty areas for the results of the study.
The research took place between 2005 and 2009, and three million tumors were analyzed in people living in 16 different states and Los Angeles, Ca.
At first glance, the research does not reveal anything shocking: cancers appear in people regardless of socioeconomic status. What does stand out, however, is the conclusion that certain types of cancers included in the study occurred more often in affluent areas, and other types of cancer were more prevalent in poorer regions.
In fact, of the 39 types of cancer studied, 32 of them were impacted by the patients poverty level, whether positively or negatively.
Researchers found the risk of laryngeal, cervical, penile and liver cancer was higher among those in lower-income areas. Additionally, Kaposi sarcoma, a form of skin cancer associated with AIDS patients, was also more common in poorer areas. More affluent areas had a higher occurrence of melanoma, testicular, thyroid, and non-epithelial cancers.
While this research doesn't crack any particular code, it does shed some light on the importance of cancer prevention and treatment among higher-poverty neighborhoods and regions of the country. The researchers also linked poverty with incidence of cancer, and noted that, while affluent patients were more likely to die with the disease, those in poorer areas were more likely to die because of it.1
This study indicates that access to competent healthcare and screenings seem to be directly related to the outcome of a bout with cancer. Patients who are improperly diagnosed, or whose illness goes undiagnosed, may have a greater risk of dying from the disease.
At Goldberg Finnegan, our attorneys fight for the rights of those who've suffered from a medical misdiagnosis.
As this and other research suggests, every minute of treatment truly makes a difference in the outcome of your illness. Our medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve if you've been the victim of a cancer misdiagnosis.