Cancer Diagnosis Under The Age Of 40, Racism Matters

Racism is one of the biggest problems which is faced all over the world by minor communities. Racism in the United States gives traces of negative attitudes and views on race or ethnicity, which depend on each other. Racism against African Americans, in particular, has faced many political, economic, and social freedoms throughout the United States history. Though actions against such racial discrimination have been taken, we can still find it in some parts of the United States of America.  

Cancer Diagnosis Under The Age Of 40, Racism Matters

Even the actions that have been taken against this discrimination, still young black Americans are facing discrimination when it comes to the availability of medical facilities to these minority groups. One such case is that the young Black and Hispanic community who is under the age of 40 faces poorer survival odds when compared to the white community, who receive much more attention and medical help when needed. It is known that the United States of America has a history of being racist towards young Black and Hispanic cancer patients during their treatments.

Cancer Diagnosis Under The Age Of 40, Racism Matters

Researchers have found out that these disparities are not common in the age group of older cancer patients but are common among young and teenage patients and across a range of cancer types. The lead researcher and an assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said that the disparities are not limited to only one type of Cancer. She also stated that structural racism includes differences in treating the patients from minority be it in medical care or at work.

Black patients with blood cancer are less likely to receive donor bone marrow transplants when compared to white because they are outnumbered in the national donor registry. There was a recent study conducted by National Cancer Institute, where the data from 1995 to 2016 involving cancer patients aged 18 to 35 were considered. The studies show that in those two decades, the survival rates of all the ethics and racial groups have gradually increased, but the Black and Hispanic young people consistently fared worse than other white counterparts.

Overall the Black and Hispanic community had the worst outlook. Those who were diagnosed in recent years also have survival rates or even poorer rates than those of the white patients. 

Some of the starkest differences are, 

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Blood cancer) – Almost 75% of the white men were alive after five years when compared with only 57% of Black and 67%  of Hispanic.
  • Cervical Cancer – A disease that can be caught through routine screening; only 69% of the Black women were alive after five years when compared with 83% of the white women and 80% of Hispanic women.
  • Testicular Cancer – Highly curable Cancer, the survival rate of Black men was under 89%, whereas the white men were 97%.

She also added that neither health insurance nor poverty completely explained the disparities buy simply being black was the risk factor for dying from Cancer. The Texas Medicaid program offers transient and temporary coverage. Some people under the program have lost coverage after the initial cancer treatment, making it difficult to have a longer-term follow-up.  

Started in 2014, the affordable Care Act – Commonly known as the ObamaCare, allowed the United States to expand its Medicaid programs to more low-income residents. There was also evidence of improved cancer survivals among Americans aged 40 and up. One such recent event was linked to Medicaid expansion increased the survival rates among people with breast, colon, lung cancers, likely due to early diagnosis.

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