USA Today released an article confirming what we have known for a long time- access to care and something as simple as a cancer screening is much harder for those in lower income brackets. And late detection of cancer results in higher mortality rates among those groups:
“We really can alter survival from the disease with early detection,” says Andrew Salner, director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute in Connecticut, one of several New England states that fared well. “We can bring down mortality … if we can provide equal access to care.”
But getting preventive screenings and quality treatment is much tougher for people who struggle daily just to get by. So cancer preys upon the poor. State-by-state rankings for poverty closely mirror those for cancer deaths.
Surviving financially day-to-day often takes priority over a doctor's visit or symptoms that can be ignored until it is too late.
“When you’re living in poverty, you have more immediate problems than seeing about getting a prostate screening or, ‘Is it time for a colonoscopy?’ ” he says. “You’re trying to make sure food is on the table. You’re trying to make sure the lights are on. So we neglect our health a lot of times.”
What good are ground-breaking cancer treatments and early detection screening technologies if they never reach the people who need them most?